Lifestyle

Starbucks Debuts ‘La Boulange’ Pastries Island-Wide

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Big Island Starbucks customers can now get a taste of San Francisco at their neighborhood coffee shops, as the company rolls out its new line of pastries island-wide.

After Hawai`i Island Starbucks stores stopped offering pastries made daily by Mamane Bakery in Waimea, the chain replaced Mamane’s selections with a variety of pre-made products, shipped in frozen.

Editor’s note: Mamane Bakery previously produced many, but not all Starbucks pastries at Big Island stores.

The line of pastries featured selections that some customers politely described as “utilitarian.”

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Facing similar criticism at its mainland outlets, the coffee giant spent $100 million in 2012 purchasing renowned San Franciso Bakery chain “La Boulange” in an effort to prevent customers from being lured to smaller, competing coffee shops and bakeries with better quality baked goods.

Started in 1996 by baker Pascal Rigo, La Boulange had grown to 19 locations in the California area at the time of the company’s purchase.

Coffee "mates." Starbucks line of "La Boulange" pastries now fill store display cases. Photo by Nate Gaddis.

Coffee “mates.” Starbucks line of “La Boulange” pastries now fill store display cases. Photo by Nate Gaddis.

As part of the buyout, Starbucks appointed Rigo to be the company’s vice president of food operations. The chain has since been rolling out a variety of La Boulange pastries to select outlets nationwide, with the grand launch of the new product line occurring in all stores in July of 2014.

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The new items include everything from croissants and sandwiches, to cookies and scones. La Boulange items typically feature a lighter, moister texture than the company’s previous offerings.

Though not baked fresh, the new food products have helped Starbucks increase same-store sales by 2% so far.

To see the new menu selections, visit your local Starbucks or the company’s website by clicking here.

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