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Starbucks Invests in Boutique Italian Bakery

  • Associated Press

FILE - Customers line up at a Starbucks in New York, April 2, 2015.

FILE - Customers line up at a Starbucks in New York, April 2, 2015.

Starbucks has invested in the high-end bakery Princi with plans to expand the Italian cafe and also to step up the quality of food at the Seattle chains' premier locations.

Starbucks has sought to elevate the food that it offers at stores.

There are five Princi cafes, in London and Milan, the first opened by 30 years ago by Rocco Princi.

"We have never baked in our stores in 45 years," said Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz. "But all of that will change with the creation of this unique partnership.''

Princi's breads and other food will be offered at new Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Rooms in Shanghai and New York. The Shanghai location is expected to open next year, while the New York store should open the year after that.

Starbucks will also offer Princi at its new Reserve-only stores next year. Starbucks sells Reserve coffee in almost 2,000 locations in 30 countries. It has nearly 24,000 stores globally.

Earlier this week Starbucks announced that it will boost the base pay of all employees and store managers at U.S. company-run stores by 5 percent or more in October.