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It was just four months until the Windy City launch of the biggest-ever Roastery. Our fresh creative ideas made the grand opening Starbucks’ best yet.

Roastery stores are fantastical, museum-like experiences that center around everything coffee. The Chicago store would span five floors and 35,000 square feet, making it the largest yet.

Services Used

  • Content
  • Design
Warming tent render

The Problem

Starbucks wanted creative concepts worthy of the Roastery’s immersive coffee experience. Across a myriad of media, we had to quickly generate buzz to make the opening—and beyond—a success.

The creative had to blend seamlessly with the Starbucks coffee heritage, their brand, and the industrial-artistic Roastery environment that’s a feast for the senses. 

They also asked us to fold the building’s historic roots into the concepts. And because they didn’t want to give away the look of the store inside, we had to work with a simple building line drawing and client-provided imagery.


The Solution

In under 100 days, we delivered innovative ideas—and implemented them—across event design, collateral and print, video, signage, and partnerships with local hotels.

We wrapped the creative in a Chicago-centric theme that paid homage to the Magnificent Mile. Pre-opening, a Starbucks-sponsored warming tent at the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival gave attendees a cozy shelter from the cold and a peek into the upcoming Roastery. Also, to get local Starbucks employees talking in town, we gave them a Roastery gift box with coffee and fun collateral.

For inside the store, we created brand-reflective signage, seating environments, and a video to support the specially-commissioned merchandise of local artist Mac Blackout. We completed the entire video—concept to shoot to post—in two weeks. 

Because 80% of Roastery visitors are tourists, we also forged partnerships with Chicago hotels, equipping their concierges with collateral to draw in guests.


The Results

Starbucks Roastery & Reserve was thrilled with our high level of capability and expertise. They now rely on us as their right hand for a multitude of creative ideas.

Their vice president credited us with providing a level of brand attention critical for launch. Merchandising in-store, including the Mac Blackout items we helped promote, exceeded Starbucks’ forecast by 165%.

Our team worked within a tight timeline to conceive of and deliver everything as needed—without any rush or overtime costs for the client.