Did Starbucks Buy (and Close) La Boulange Just to Get Its Recipes?

$100 million wasn't a lot to fix food problems

Starbucks courted San Francisco's upscale La Boulange bakery chain for six months before buying it in 2012, for $100 million in cash. At the time, the acquisition was hailed as a definitive step to get top-shelf bakery products into the coffee giant's massive system, while also providing another avenue for expansion: 400 units within five years, some said. A jubilant La Boulange official said he had "confidence that Starbucks will stay true to the La Boulange brand" as it spread the quirky bakery to across the country.

@UpperEastRob robert.klara@adweek.com Robert Klara is a senior editor, brands at Adweek, where he specializes in covering the evolution and impact of brands.