Foodservice Equipment Reports

Starbucks Will Close All La Boulange Bakery-Cafés

Stating that the stores were not sustainable for its long-term growth, Starbucks Corp. plans to close all 23 La Boulange bakery-café units by the end of September. The brand’s food will still be served at Starbucks coffeehouse locations. In addition to the stores, mostly located in the San Francisco Bay Area, Starbucks says it will shutter two manufacturing facilities that serve those locations, as well as the Evolution Fresh retail unit in San Francisco.

Starbucks acquired San Francisco-based Bay Bread and its La Boulange brand in June 2012. La Boulange had 19 locations around the Bay Area, and was known for its bakery cafés and its wholesale business.

The $100 million La Boulange acquisition followed Starbucks’ purchase of the Evolution Fresh juice brand for $30 million cash in 2011. In addition to introducing its cold-pressed juices at its coffee stores, Starbucks also planned to grow Evolution Fresh as a juice bar chain.

La Boulange food products have been a hit at Starbucks locations in the U.S. and Canada. Sales of breakfast sandwiches have grown 35% year over year during the morning daypart, and lunch has shown double-digit increases.

The Seattle chain says it will continue plans to grow its food business in the U.S. to more than $4 billion over the next five years.