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Jun 4, 2012 01:52 PM

Kiss of Death for La Boulange

SFGate is reporting that Starbucks has purchased Bay Breads/La Boulange, with the intention of (1)integrating La Boulange pastries and products into the Starbucks line, and (2) eventually taking La Boulange national in some way.

From my experience, Starbucks is a brand killer. They've previously acquired businesses with the stated intention of using the acquisition to broaden their food offerings, but usually end up closing the business, sometimes using the lease for yet another SB. I happen to like La Boulange as a good place to have coffee and a light breakfast when I come into the City; and don't really see how this will be a good outcome for them.

Time will tell, but I'm not encouraged.

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  1. That sucks, though I think they must honestly want the bakery to improve their offerings. There's no way the 19 retail cafes are worth $100 million.

    I wonder if that means Bay Bread will stop supplying Trader Joe's with the Pain Pascal?

      1. I hope the Rigolo Cafe is not part of the deal.

        3 Replies
          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            I worked for the company a while back and Panissimo is part of Bay Bread, or at least is was then. Panissimo was the original name of the company if I recall. I think Rigolo is something like a franchise, peripherally involved. Who knows what that means for them.

            1. re: srr

              Huh, you're right, Panissimo was the original name of Bay Bread. I suppose whether the sale has any effect on Rigolo depends on what percentage the Mathieuxs own.

          1. What a coincidence, I chanced upon La Boulange today for lunch (I'm visiting for a week from NYC). This was at the one close to Yerba Buena center. The greens in the chicken salad were nice and the strawberry rhubarb tart was good too.