Starbucks continues to advance its plans for world domination in the competitive coffee and snack retail market. At the beginning of the year the company announced it was seeking franchise partners to move into significantly smaller towns, and yesterday it was announced that it was going to pay $100m for Bay Bread LLC. Bay Bread is the company behind the La Boulange Café & Bakery brand, a San Francisco based retail chain that “embodies the authenticity of the French bakery experience”. As is so typical of many companies today, the business was formed in 1999 and the founder, Pascal Rigo, was keen to impart his experience and knowledge of French baking to the communities of San Francisco. Next World Group invested in the business in 2006 and it has now grown to 19 locations throughout the greater Bay area.
Starbucks continue to seek ways to differentiate themselves in the increasingly competitive global coffee market and their snack offerings have evolved considerably over the last ten years. Commenting on the acquisition, which will be satisfied through a cash payment, Starbucks Chairman and Chief Executive Howard Schultz is quoted as saying, “After more than 40 years we will be able to say we are bakers too” with the company viewing the deal as significant because food is now considered to be a part of its core business.