Investors can really be quite demanding on public companies – even ones as large as Starbucks. As we see a rise of activist investors, hopefully it will also translate into more corporate innovation. In order to tap into a new audience, Starbucks started its Reserve business in 2014. Starbucks opened the first 15,000ft Reserve Roastery near its first location in Seattle. The company plans to build a few more Reserve Roasteries, but also to roll out Reserve shops.
As part of their efforts to diversify their offerings, Reserve provides a more luxurious experience than a regular Starbucks. The coffee experience goes beyond just a regular coffee, cappuccino, etc. The choices are greatly expanded – Different roasts, different beans, and different brewing methodologies. I can see how this would be an exciting concept going forward – it reintroduces people to coffee. In a day and age where we see an increased interest in tasting flights for beer, wine, etc, we can assume people would also like to learn more about coffee. Paired with better pastries than your standard Starbucks store, as well as tours of how coffee is roasted, and experts providing guidance on tastings – this dramatically expands Starbucks’ contact points with its customers.
Additional roasteries are being planned globally. The New York one is planned for 2018, and more notably for me is one that will be located on the Magnificent Mile in Chicago, taking over the large storefront currently occupied by Crate & Barrel (2019). The planned store is 43,000 square feet, occupying a total of 4 floors. International stores in Shanghai, Milan, and Tokyo will be opened in 2018 as well. It’s almost difficult to imagine what they could possibly be putting inside a 4 story building.
Seattle Reserve Roastery
Address: 1124 Pike St, Seattle
Hours: 7am – 11pm
The location is crowded (especially over a Christmas break). Don’t expect to spend a quiet afternoon here – it is the home of Starbucks, and the first store of its kind! It is however, an interesting location to stop by if you ever find yourself in downtown Seattle.