Seattle WA – June 17 2015 (hospitalitybusinessnews.com) In June 2012 Next World Group, a privately-held global investment firm, announced that it has reached a definitive agreement to sell La Boulange Café & Bakery to Starbucks Coffee Company for $100 million in cash.
According to news reports, at the time, Pascal Rigo Founder and CEO stated that within 12 to 14 months, there will be La Boulange-branded goods in every Starbucks’ pastry case in America. Then there’s the La Boulange brand itself, which will expand to 200 to 400 units nationwide within the next four to five years.
On June 16, 2015 Starbucks announced that “it is with careful consideration the company shares the difficult decision to close all 23 La Boulange retail (bakery cafés) locations, as well as the two manufacturing facilities that serve those locations, by the end of September 2015.”
In a release Starbucks said “as a standard course of business, Starbucks continually evaluates all components of its business to confirm they are aligned with key priorities and strategies for growth, which includes the continued analysis of the store portfolio. Based on our ongoing evaluations, Starbucks has determined La Boulange stores are not sustainable for the company’s long-term growth. The La Boulange brand will continue to play a significant role in the future of Starbucks food in stores, and the company looks forward to serving delicious La Boulange food at its Starbucks retail locations in San Francisco and across the U.S. and Canada. The Evolution Fresh retail location in San Francisco will also close.”
“Partnering with Pascal Rigo, founder and creative force behind La Boulange, to bring his passion for developing authentic, homemade specialties made with simple, high quality ingredients to customers on a broad scale through Starbucks has resulted in a reinvented and elevated food portfolio, delivering the best possible customer experience at Starbucks. Now that the roll-out of La Boulange products within Starbucks stores in the U.S. and Canada is complete, Pascal will move on from Starbucks to continue his passion for food in San Francisco while dedicating more time and resources toward his nonprofit ventures in an effort to supply quality food to schools with underprivileged children and bring innovative after-school clinics to help children with learning disabilities.” Starucks stated via a release.