The premium coffee company, illy is opening two more coffee bars in San Francisco. One of the new stores is now the largest of the seven illy Caffè stores in the city.
The gourmet coffee scene in San Fran is highly competitive, so what makes these cafes stand out?
“illy Caffè stores offer coffee lovers an inspirational and immersive illy experience, featuring the brand's iconic imagery, world-renowned illy art collection cups and other visual elements: ideal environments to linger over coffee of unparalleled quality, purchased directly from farmers and prepared by expertly-trained baristas,” according to a press release.
The baristas go through rigorous training program by the Master Barista Giorgio Milos, where they are taught coffee preparation techniques from the traditional espresso to specialty beverages by the brand, like the popular illy Lavender Mint Latte.
Besides aiming to offer a superior product, the illy caffè incorporates contemporary art in the store design. One of the new stores features chandeliers made from the illy Art Collection cups that incorporate the artwork of contemporary artists, including James Rosenquis and Jeff Koons.
Each caffè has a retail store, where the illy coffee machines, Art Collection cups, and coffee blends are available for purchase.
The stores also have a menu of food offerings.
"Coffee offerings are enhanced by a wide menu of chef-made sweet and savory selections, prepared daily for enjoyment on the premises, to go and for convenient catering to local businesses. To name a few: freshly-made soups and salads; paninos, sandwiches and wraps; desserts, including classic Italian bomboloni and the illymisu, a mouth-watering tiramisu made with a shot of illy espresso. Items are sourced with local ingredients and products, including freshly baked bread and pastries," according to a press release.
The coffee company has stores in Miami, Chicago, Detroit, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and Toronto.
illy is wildly popular in Italy, where the company was founded, but is gaining traction in the U.S. market. Again, the coffee market in general is growing more competitive with new innovative micro coffee brews and successful chains like Starbucks that have an especially loyal following.
However, illy is now growing it's caffe business, where before the brand was mostly a coffee company that distributed it's product all over the world. Starbuck may soon have another leading coffee cafe player in the game to compete against.