By Elena Kadvany
La Boulange Palo Alto to closeUploaded: Jun 17, 2015
Starbucks announced Tuesday that it will be closing all of its 23 La Boulange locations, including one in downtown Palo Alto, describing the cafes as "not sustainable for the company's long-term growth."
Starbucks acquired La Boulange, then a San Francisco-based patisserie and café chain, in 2012 for $100 million. The Palo Alto location opened the same year at 151 University Ave., a prime downtown corner with a large outdoor patio.
La Boulange opened in downtown Palo Alto in 2012, the same year the company was acquired by Starbucks. Palo Alto Weekly file photo.
The closest Peninsula location is in Burlingame; most locations are concentrated in San Francisco, with a few in the East Bay and Marin as well.
Since "food is a key element of Starbucks growth strategy," the company will continue to sell La Boulange items in its stores, but the stand-alone cafes and the two manufacturing facilities that serve those locations will be shuttered by the end of September, Starbucks said in a statement. The manager of the Palo Alto cafe said the location will be closed Sept. 25 and declined to comment further.
Starbucks said that La Boulange employees "are being treated with the utmost care" and when possible, will be placed at a Starbucks in the area.
"Starbucks goals to grow its food business and deliver an incremental $2 billion in the next five years in the U.S. are unchanged," the company statement reads. "Starbucks will continue to deepen its commitment to customers' food experience in stores, ensuring it surpasses their expectations, just as the company has done with coffee and beverages."