Starbucks to close La Boulange cafes
Three years after it acquired the highly touted Bay Area bakery chain, Starbucks Corp. said it would close all 23 La Boulange cafes by the end of September.
The Seattle-based coffee giant said in a statement Tuesday that the stores are “not sustainable for the company’s long-term growth.” La Boulange food will still be served at Starbucks stores in San Francisco, across the U.S. and in Canada.
The two manufacturing facilities that served the La Boulange bakery cafes, as well as the Evolution Fresh juice cafe in San Francisco, will also be closed.
Starbucks acquired the artisan bakery company in 2012 for $100 million. At the time, Starbucks said it was responding to customer requests for “more wholesome and delicious food options.”
La Boulange founder Pascal Rigo joined the Starbucks team as senior vice president of food. The company said Tuesday that Rigo will be leaving Starbucks now that the rollout of La Boulange products in stores is complete.
Starbucks said second-quarter food sales rose 16%, with the chain’s new breakfast sandwiches adding 35% growth for breakfast sales.
Shares of Starbucks rose 28 cents, or 0.5%, to $53.24 on Wednesday.