Princi Italian Bakery @ The Starbucks Reserve Roastery
TMA'ed while listening to Pray by Sam Smith on repeat
Temi: Remember a while back we mentioned that Starbucks had invested in Italian bakery Princi and was planning to open a location in 2017? Well, today is said day. Starbucks has officially opened their first Princi location in the Reserve Roastery in Seattle. The bakery and café takes up 2000 sq ft of the roastery's location and is a site to behold. Upon entry, huge cast-iron-looking ovens draw you to the baked goods. They are Wenz 1919's. State of the art deck baking ovens that are digitally controlled. Really a beauty of a thing. All of the brioche, breads, cornettis, are made in house. This is super significant cause this is the first time in Starbuck's 45 year history that it is baking on site.
Mari: Before we go any further, a little bit about Princi. Princi is a renowned artisanal boutique bakery and café founded by Italian baker Rocco Princi. He is a self-described "village artisan bread maker" and started making bread artisanally, by hand, in Italy, 1985. There are 7 Princi stores in total, 5 in Milan, one in London and now one in Seattle. Princi operates on a Commessa experience. Think barista for baked goods. Unlike traditional cafés, there is no printed menu. A commessa greets you, guides you through the selection offering samples and tastes and eventually your final order.
Temi: We had the opportunity to sample some of the delicacies from the extensive menu that has more than 100 items crafted using 53 ingredients imported from Italy. Rocco specifically hand-picked a majority of these from all over the country, such as tomato sauce from Campania or prosciutto from Parma.
Mari: Now on to the good stuff, the baked goods. We were there for the morning menu which included a variety of breakfast sandwiches, pastries, tarts and granola in greek yogurt. I tried everything I could get my hands on. My favorite was the Pizza Verdure Griglia. The vegetable pizza was beautiful in the way the foccacio, eggplant and peppers complimented each other to create the richest of flavors and most colorful pizza.
Temi: The cornetti's (Italian croissants) were flaky and buttery with rich fillings that just made my mouth do a happy dance. Each bite was just flakes and crumbs everywhere which as you know makes a bomb croissant or rather, cornetti. The banana bread was decadent. A weird thing to say about banana bread but it really was. It was moist with the perfect amount of sweetness.
Mari: I also fell in love with their cornetti selection (thankfully they serve them all day). Just to name a few: Cornetti al lampone (jam filled croissant), Cornetti breakfast egg sandwich, Cornetti with almonds, and the best of all Cornetti with the chocolate hazelnut crème. FYI nutella has nothing on Rocco's chocolate hazelnut cream. I could go on, but did we mention they also have desserts?
Temi: Ah yes desserts. I had a few bites of the Crostata Fragola, basically a strawberry tart, and I highly recommend it. Honestly, all the breakfast items we tried were a hit for us. You can't go wrong with European style baking. It's all buttery, flaky goodness and Princi gets it right.
Mari: I agree! With this new Starbucks investment, we'll be seeing more Princi locations across the globe. It’s now the exclusive food supplier for all Starbucks premium Reserve retail experiences including at the Shanghai Roastery that launches in December. Plus, Starbucks will be opening a number of standalone Princi locations worldwide starting next year.
Temi: I'm super excited for more locations and I'm even more excited that Seattle got it first. My only hope is that Princi doesn’t lose its quality as it grows. Right now though, the essence of Milan seems to have come to Seattle.
Mari: Check them out! They are officially open today November 7th at the Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Capitol Hill. Let us know what you think. Are you a fan?