High street coffee chain Starbucks has agreed an investment and global licensing deal with Italian bakery chain Princi. The deal means baking is to be introduced to Starbucks stores for the first time in 2017. 

Under the agreement, baked goods made from Princi recipes will be baked in-store at selected outlets in the US and Shanghai next year. Princi’s founder Rocco Princi currently operates five bakeries in Milan, as well as one in London.

Starbucks plans to roll out the in-store bakery concept worldwide, in order to set itself apart from its coffee chain rivals.

Starbucks chief executive Howard Schultz said: “We have never baked in our stores in 45 years. But all of that will change with the creation of this unique partnership. Rocco and his team at Princi possess a passion for handcrafted food and artisanal baked goods that mirrors how I feel about our coffee.”

The coffee chain declined to disclose the size of its investment in Princi, but the agreement gives it the rights to open Princi locations around the world, except in Italy, in order, according to Schultz, to respect its local heritage.

Schultz added: “The attention to detail, the care invested in selecting the ingredients and the artistry of preparation is second only to the service Rocco offers customers inside his Princi stores.

“I can think of no better pairing for our most premium coffee experience and am excited by the possibilities we envision in Princi food elevating every daypart – breakfast, lunch, and dinner – in Starbucks Roasteries and Reserve Stores.”

Rocco Princi said: “As a young man, I dreamed of the opportunity to bring traditional Italian baking to customers in my country, but when I opened our location in London, I realised how much we could also offer an international clientele.

“I have long admired Starbucks, the values Howard has imbedded into his organisation and we are honoured to be a part of bringing to life an entirely new retail environment with the Roasteries.”

Last month Starbucks announced it would take on 1,000 apprentices over the next four years.