Now that Starbucks has purchased La Boulange, the plan is to help expand it in two ways. First, they’re going to take it from a local chain of 20 to a national chain with up to 400 locations. Second, Pascal Rigo, La Boulange’s owner will bring their branded breads, pastries, cookies, and sandwiches to Starbucks’ American locations – nearly 13,000 at last count. This isn’t supposed to have a noticeable impact on the San Francisco La Boulange shops you love. But the real question is whether they can scale the baking across the country without a drop-off in quality.
While it’s a good sign that Rigo was able to expand across the city from his original shop on Pine Street (opened in 1999; he lived with his family above the store for nine years) in just over a decade, going nationwide is a big task. But, Starbucks is hoping their reach and resources will do the trick. Pastries and coffee are an excellent pairing, so hopefully, they can pull this off.