La Boulange bakery just sold to Starbucks for $100 million as reported in the SF Gate this morning. La Boulange is a bakery my wife and I frequent for yogurt and granola, french pastries (I love canales), and yes, coffee. I say the acquisition is bitter sweet is because I tend to enjoy the coffee at La Boulange a bit more than Starbucks and I am sure La Boulange is going to be required to sell the Seattle companies brew. But very positive for owner Pascal Rigo for selling a terrific business for a great profit.
This is a very great example of business entrepreneurship, as its owner Pascal Rigo, and soon to remain General Manager, started the 19 store chain (soon to be 20) in 1999 and haven’t looked back since. I think Starbucks could leverage some of the terrific baked goods at La Boulange as I have come to enjoy them over the years.
Congratulation Pascal on a job well done!
Here is a snippet of the SF Gate article:
Bay Bread Group’s La Boulange Cafe & Bakery, the San Francisco bake shop known for its French pastries and sandwich menu, was sold Monday for $100 million to Starbucks Coffee Co.
La Boulange’s founder, Pascal Rigo, will remain general manager of both Bay Bread and La Boulange, while Starbucks plans to take the fast-casual restaurant chain national and fill its coffee shops with breads and pastries produced by the bakery.
“It’s a superb opportunity to bring high-quality food into Starbucks,” said Cliff Burrows, president of the Seattle coffee company’s United States and Americas division, adding that La Boulange also will start selling its own special Starbucks coffee blend.
As far as expanding La Boulange, Burrows said they “will take it one store at a time” and have not determined future locations. “Wherever opportunity takes us,” he said.
Rigo founded the company in 1999 with La Boulangerie – a bakery with an oven in the back of the store – on Pine Street, and he lived above the shop for nine years. That store became the prototype for 19 La Boulange cafes across the Bay Area.
Rigo expanded the company six years ago by joining forces with Next World Group, a privately held global investment firm with offices in San Francisco, Brussels and Paris. Sébastien Lépinard, Next World’s founder, said their intention was to eventually take the company nationwide.