Why Did Starbucks Pick Chicago to House its Largest Roastery? - NBC New York

Why Did Starbucks Pick Chicago to House its Largest Roastery?

Chicago was home to the company's first store in the U.S. outside of Seattle, as Starbucks banked its future on the Midwest city

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    NEWSLETTERS

    World's Largest Starbucks to Open in Chicago in 2019

    The world’s largest Starbucks is coming to Chicago.

    (Published Wednesday, April 26, 2017)

    The world's largest Starbucks will soon open in Chicago - and the decision to bring the company's biggest roastery to the Windy City was no accident. 

    Chicago was home to the company's first store in the U.S. outside of Seattle, as Starbucks banked its future on the Midwest city. 

    "Chicagoans, I was told, would never drink dark-roasted coffee," former CEO Howard Schultz wrote in his book "Pour Your Heart Into It." "But … we jumped feet first into Chicago, so in love with our product that we couldn’t imagine that everybody else wouldn’t love it, too."

    The chain's first Chicago location opened in the city's Loop on Oct. 19, 1987. 

    Now, Starbucks is doing it again with its new Starbucks Reserve Roastery.

    According to the company, the Chicago roastery will be the sixth of its kind, joining other roasteries in Milan, New York, Seattle, Shanghai and Tokyo. It will be the third roastery to open in the U.S. behind the flagship Seattle location, which opened in 2014. 

    And this isn't the first time Chicago has held the world's largest Starbucks. 

    In 1995, the city's Rush Street store also held that title for some time. 

    In 2016, the company also opened a location on the other end of the spectrum with one of its smallest stand-alone locations taking shape in Union Station. 

    “We know customers in Chicago love the coffee experience, which makes this the perfect place for Starbucks to try new things,” Chicago district manager Dan Dehmlow said in a statement. 

    The Starbucks Reserve Roastery is scheduled to open Nov. 15 at Michigan Avenue and Erie Street, in the former Crate and Barrel building.

    Starbucks says the roastery will feature "an immersive experience dedicated to roasting and brewing small-batch Starbucks Reserve coffee from around the world."

    "This building has a unique way of becoming a beacon for a brand, and I can’t think of a better retailer than Starbucks to offer Chicago something new and exciting with its Reserve Roastery,” Gordon Segal, founder of Crate and Barrel, said in a previous statement.