Shocking news today from Starbucks corporate, which recently unveiled plans to shutter every La Boulange location by the end of the September at the latest. It’s a precipitous downfall for the long-popular San Francisco bakery brand, which was acquired by the monstrous coffee-making corporation for a cool $100 million back in 2012.
In a statement sent around Tuesday evening (right when the Golden State Warriors were about to tip-off in the NBA Finals — talk about burying the news), Starbucks trotted out the slow-growth mantra as cause for the closures. Their La Boulange pastries, which were previously beloved but seemed to fall off after the acquisition, were already being scaled back, and now it seems that even those will disappear.
What this ultimately means for the beautiful La Boulange cafe location along La Brea is unclear, but Starbucks confirms that it too will close by summers’ end. The all-day eatery certainly had the airy feel and big windows that could have made for a popular casual pastry shop along that corridor (after all, Republique and Sycamore Kitchen are doing just fine) but even that expansive location struggled to find its audience.
It must be a tough pill to swallow for Starbucks, which is out many millions more than just the brand acquisition price. They also have a history of occasionally doing the right thing with their store locations, so it’s a bummer for everyone to see this one go so far awry, so quickly. Employees have been notified of the upcoming shutters, and Starbucks says they’ll try to relocate them to other Starbucks locations where appropriate.