Italian coffee giant Lavazza last week opened a training center on the Magnificent Mile in downtown Chicago.
Inside the 444 North Michigan Ave office building, home to James Beard Award-winning restaurant The Purple Pig, Lavazza’s new training center achieved certification as a Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) Premier Training Campus.
According to the SCA’s current premier training campus map, the Chicago Lavazza training center is the 12th premier campus in the United States, and the only one currently in the Chicagoland area.
“We are so excited to be opening a new training facility and further the expansion of our brand and its experts,” Frank LaRusso, the director of training at the new facility, said in an announcement from Lavazza. “We look forward to continuing our dedication to training and leading within the industry through our master classes and shared passion for all things coffee.”
The Chicago opening follows Lavazza training center openings in Miami and West Chester, Pennsylvania, in late 2022, as well as 2021 openings in New York City, Los Angeles and Toronto.
Lavazza first opened a U.S. headquarters and showroom in Lower Manhattan in 2015. In 2021, the company greatly expanded facilities and capacity at its U.S. production headquarters in West Chester, outside Philadelphia.
Maintaining business-to-business sales with coffee sellers throughout the retail and hospitality sectors, as well as its own branded and licensed coffee shops, Lavazza operates 53 training centers globally.
According to Lavazza, the new Chicago center will be used to train Lavazza workers as well as wholesale clients. The company plans to host “master classes” for coffee retailers with titles such as “barista training” and “coffee menu management.”
A grand opening celebration for the Chicago facility took place last week.
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