Starbucks has announced it acquires Bay Bread, LLC and its La Boulange bakery brand for $100 million in cash to provide consumers with more food options, as well as to hire established French baker Pascal Rigo, who opened the first La Boulange in San Francisco in 1999.
La Boulange is a famous bakery producing authentic French pastries and breads of high-quality. Now La Boulange bakery operates 19 retail locations in the Bay Area and sells its products in several upscale HoReCa venues in the region.
Starbucks has made major enhancements to its food offerings based on customer feedback, including removing artificial ingredients wherever possible and diversifying its portfolio to include smaller portion sizes. This spring, the coffee company entered the energy drinks sector by launching its Refreshers. Food now accounts for $1.5 billion in revenues in U.S. company-operated stores and has grown by double digits in each of the last two fiscal years, according to a press release.
“The acquisition of La Boulange bakery will help us to expand day-parts, drive customer loyalty and ultimately grow the overall business through differentiated brand experiences and multiple channels,” said Cliff Burrows, president, Starbucks Americas, who will oversee the integration and expansion of La Boulange. “We will leverage our scale and premium product expertise to transform a core part of our business while building La Boulange bakery into a national artisanal bakery brand. And we will do it with an unwavering commitment to maintaining the uniqueness, quality and level of care that Pascal is known for baking into each of his croissants, pastries, loafs, cookies and breads.”
Starbucks plans to broaden distribution capacity in select markets in order to make La Boulange products available in Starbucks company-operated retail stores in the U.S. The company will continue to serve Bay Bread, LLC’s wholesale bakery customers with a possibility of expanding over time.