Starbucks (NYSE:SBUX) is planning to bring the first full-service La Boulange Bakery to Los Angeles. This will be the chain's first expansion outside of San Francisco, where it currently operates 22 locations.
Although an official grand opening has not been announced, La Boulange Bakery has already began advertising for job openings at the first Los Angeles store according to the company's website.
Starbucks purchased La Boulange Bakery in 2012 for $100 million and began selling La Boulange pastries and other food in about 3,500 Starbucks outlets in the United States. At the time, food made up 19 percent of sales at its U.S. stores and Starbucks was looking to grow this portion of its business.
Not everyone was receptive to the new La Boulange pastries, however. Customers complained that the new pastries were smaller and cost more. After a slew of customer gripes, the chain brought back some old favorites, including the banana, pumpkin and iced-lemon loaf cakes.
La Boulange Bakery expansion comes as Starbucks explores new concepts beyond its core coffee business. The chain is tapping into tea as a sales driver. Starbucks opened its first Teavana store in Manhattan in October to much fanfare. Seattle-based Starbucks' $620 million purchase of tea store chain Teavana Holdings Inc. in 2012 was its largest acquisition to date.
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