In hopes of upgrading its pastry offerings, Starbucks has announced plans to purchase San Francisco artisan bakery Bay Bread and its 19-unit La Boulange brand for $100 million. La Boulange is known for scratch baked croissants, pastries, breads and cookies.
The deal—being made with Next World Group, an investment firm that owns Bay Bread—is expected to close in Starbucks' fiscal fourth quarter. At that point, La Boulange founder Pascal Rigo would be named senior vice president and general manager of La Boulange at Starbucks, charged with creating food products for Starbucks stores.
According to an article in USA Today, Starbucks ultimately hopes to boost its food sales in supermarket aisles, not just at Starbucks retail stores. La Boulange products also are sold in several upscale restaurants, hotels and specialty grocers in the Bay Area. Starbucks also has separate plans to grow La Boulange into a nationwide chain.
But it will likely be several months before La Boulange shows up at Starbucks locations, as the chain has to upgrade some existing facilities and broaden distribution capacity in many markets. Some West Coast Starbucks locations could see the baked goods by early 2013, according to USA Today.