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Starbucks cafe is newest shop brewing in Carrollwood

(ran NTP edition)

Starbucks, the Seattle-based king of coffee culture, is opening a cafe in Carrollwood.

The company that made high-end coffee shops a national trend plans to open its first Tampa location in Shoppes of Carrollwood in midsummer, said Bridget Barrett, Starbucks marketing specialist.

The 1,400-square-foot store, the former site of New York Bagel & Deli, will sell a variety of coffees, lattes, cappuccinos, espressos and baked items that customers can consume in seating areas.

"People find our shops comfortable, warm places to hang out," she said. "There's lots of cushy seating and nice tables, or they can also take out their orders."

Starbucks was founded in 1971 as a specialty supplier of whole beans. It didn't get into retailing cups of coffee until the late 1980s. After three cafes opened in Seattle, Starbucks quickly emerged as the front-runner in gourmet coffee shops. Today, Starbucks has 1,462 outlets in North America, plus more in Pacific Rim countries.

But it only came to Florida last year, starting in the South Florida market, then opening four shops in the Orlando area last fall. Carrollwood will be the 18th Starbucks cafe in Florida.

Tampa residents already can find Starbucks coffees locally at Barnes & Noble bookstores and at Tampa International Airport.

But the company's own shops also sell packaged whole bean coffee and a variety of pastries such as scones, bagels, cookies and cheesecakes. Barrett said pastries vary by region, and shops in South Florida sell items such as guava pastries.

"We're new to the state, but we've been overwhelmed with our success in Florida," she said. "Florida has a lot of folks who have lived in other places and are familiar with Starbucks."

Barrett said the company "will always be looking" for places to put a Starbucks, and future locations in Tampa are a possibility.