Starbucks to buy La Boulange bakery for $100M

The company will also hire La Boulange founder and French baker Pascal Rigo in an attempt to expand its food platform.

Starbucks on Monday announced an agreement to acquire the San Francisco-based Bay Bread LLC and its La Boulange bakery brand for $100 million in cash.

With the acquisition, the Seattle-based coffeehouse chain plans to beef up its food offerings in Starbucks stores with La Boulange-branded French pastries, croissants, breads and muffins, which company officials hope will drive traffic and build the chain’s food attachment rate.

Long term, however, Starbucks officials also plan to build La Boulange into a national brand with its own retail outlets across the country, as well as moving into grocery and other channels with branded consumer packaged goods, or CPG, products.

Howard Schultz, Starbucks’ chair, president and chief executive, said the company plans to bring the artistry of the French bakery to the marketplace in the same way it brought the “romance” of the Italian espresso bar to virtually every corner of America.

“This is an investment in our core business. After more than 40 years, we will be able to say that we are bakers too,” said Schultz. Read More

Posted on June 5, 2012 and filed under Fast Casual.