Five years ago this March, Starbucks debuted a brand new concept—a juice bar that rode the rising tide of interest in mindful foods. At its peak, Evolution Fresh grew to four locations (in Seattle, Bellevue, and San Francisco), but the two remaining retail outposts will close in the coming months.
Downtown Seattle's Evolution Fresh, across the street from Nordstrom, will sell its final lentil simmer bowl and avocado smoothie on March 3. The location in U Village will say farewell June 30. This all seems surprising considering Evolution Fresh was way out front on some prevalent food and drink trends (juice, grain- and green-filled bowls, customizable salads). Maybe too far out front to operate on a massive Starbucksian scale?
The Evolution Fresh brand, however, lives on. A rep says the company will focus on the line of bottled juices, which is going strong at Starbucks locations as well as grocers, and keep introducing blends like the new superfoods line that includes coconut milk. And that the years spent running these kitchens imparted very useful lessons about customers' desire for fresh, healthier breakfast and lunch options—lessons that will inform Starbucks' own menus.
Not that it's all lentils and kale at Starbucks these days; the company will soon move Italian bakery Princi (a recent investment) into the Serious Pie space in its Reserve Roastery on Capitol Hill to sell pizza and baked goods.