Starbucks to Open Stores in Italy 'We're going to try, with great humility and respect, to share what we've been doing and what we've learned through our first retail presence in Italy," CEO Howard Schultz says.

By Lindsay Friedman

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

David Ryder | REUTERS

So how exactly will an Italian order a venti coffee?

Seattle-based Starbucks announced Sunday afternoon that it would be opening locations in Italy as soon as 2017. Confirmed as Starbucks' Italian licensee, Percassi will own and operate the stores, beginning with the first shop in Milan. The coffee company currently has more than 23,000 stores worldwide.

Related: Starbucks Couldn't Buy Better PR Than the Red Cups Coverage. Here's What We Can Learn From It.

"Starbucks history is directly linked to the way the Italians created and executed the perfect shot of espresso. Everything that we've done sits on the foundation of those wonderful experiences that many of us have had in Italy, and we've aspired to be a respectful steward of that legacy for 45 years," says Howard Schultz, Starbucks chairman and CEO, in a press release. "Now we're going to try, with great humility and respect, to share what we've been doing and what we've learned through our first retail presence in Italy."

There's no word yet on how exactly natives are responding, but they might require a use of the language that makes sense (like maybe not using "venti" to describe a large coffee).

Related: 10 Starbucks Frappuccinos You Can't Buy in America

But at least those participating in the venture know it's not going be easy.

"We know that we are going to face a unique challenge with the opening of the first Starbucks store in Italy, the country of coffee, and we are confident that Italian people are ready to live the Starbucks experience, as already occurs in many other markets," says Percassi president Antonio Percassi in the press release.

Lindsay Friedman

Staff writer. Frequently covers franchise news and food trends.

Lindsay Friedman is a staff writer at Entrepreneur.com.

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