6/05/2012 03:14:00 PM

Starbucks Gobbles Up SF's La Boulange Bakery Chain

Buttery croisants coming to a Starbucks near you.
Will crusty baguettes and buttery croissants soon replace the egg McMuffin as the favored grab-and-go breakfast of Americans? It might if Starbucks has anything to say about it. The coffee chain just gobbled up the Bay Area-based Bay Bread company, the parent of the popular oh-so-French bakery/cafe La Boulange, for a cool $100 million.

According to the AP report, the Seattle-based coffee shop chain says baked goods from La Boulange, which sells pastries, tartines and Parisian-inspired midday fare, will start replacing its current line-up early next year, starting with its French pastries and breads. Products will start appearing in Bay Area stores first then roll out nationally. La Boulange currently has 19 locations in the Bay and is slated to open new branches in the Inner Sunset and Downtown's Westfield San Francisco Centre.

The idea behind the acquisition, according to Starbucks peeps, is to “popularize the French bakery experience in the U.S. the same way it brought the experience of the Italian espresso bar to the masses.” Practically speaking, it’s thought to be a bid to improve the quality its food to better compete with the other nation’s other fast-casual chains.

No word yet on how the deal will affect the offerings at your local La Boulange. We hope that doesn't mean au revoir to it's signature fish-bowl-size au laits.

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