Starbucks to acquire La Boulange Bakery owner Bay Bread for $100 million

Starbucks Corp yesterday said it is acquiring La Boulange Bakery owner Bay Bread for $100 million in cash - the world's largest coffee chain's biggest move outside its core business and into food.

Starbucks said the acquisition will bring the artistry of the French bakery to the marketplace in a similar way that it brought the romance of the Italian espresso bar to North American consumers for the first time.

Bay Bread and its La Boulange bakery are being acquired from management and an investment group Next World Group. 

San Francisco-based Bay Bread, is known for skillfully crafting authentic French pastries and breads from scratch using high-quality, fresh ingredients. 

La Boulange bakery operates 19 retail locations in the San Francisco Bay Area and sells its products in several upscale restaurants, hotels, and specialty grocery stores.

Pascal Rigo, who moved to California from Bordeaux in France, founded Panissimo Group in 1996 and changed the name in 1999 to Bay Bread.