Seattle – Starbucks has opened its largest store to date, The Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room, laying bare its innermost workings in a move that would make an exhibitionist blush.
The 15,600 square-feet space houses two coffee bars, a stand-alone restaurant, a library and a full-scale production line, which makes the brand’s world supply of small batch coffees, called Reserve.
‘It’s not a show, it’s a true manufacturing plant,’ Liz Muller, Starbucks vice-president of global and creative design, tasked with creating the flagship store, says. ‘We like showing a bit of leg under the skirt. But this was like lifting the skirt and saying ‘let’s see it all’.’
Customers can watch as millions of coffee beans flow past, tumbling through copper tubes that span three levels, all visible from MC Escher-esque staircases that offer mezzanine-level views of the activity below.
The move by Starbucks represents an attempt to become more upmarket by introducing consumers to the people and the skills behind the production process.
Read our microtrend Show Your Working for more on how retailers are connecting with consumers through the theatre of interactive or educational displays and offering an insight into the provenance of their products.