It’s long been a popular hang for San Francisco pastry lovers, and a meeting spot for Silicon Valley techies, and soon it will be no more. Starbucks is set to close all 23 locations of La Boulange bakeries by the end of September.
The coffee giant bought the small pastry chain from the Next World Group, an investment firm, in 2012 for $100 million. It was one of the biggest acquisitions it had made at that time. It was a move to beef up Starbucks’s food offerings, and it worked for a time.
At the time of the deal, CEO Howard Schultz said that Starbucks would now be “able to say that we are bakers.” Now the company has deemed it more worthwhile to focus on its core business instead. As the Wall Street Journal points out, the stores built up “a cultlike following in the Bay Area.”
La Boulange is just one of many food brands Starbucks has bought over the years, including Teavana, Evolution Fresh, Seattle’s Best, and, last year, Hacienda Alsacia, a coffee farm in Costa Rica. It has since closed the Seattle’s Best stores and now plans to close its Evolution Fresh store in San Francisco. Howard Schultz, who took some fire recently for the botched “Race Together” program, was Fortune‘s Businessperson of the Year in 2011.
La Boulange, which has 14 of its 23 locations in San Francisco, will become an in-house Starbucks brand, which means that customers may not have to bid adieu to the pastries and lunch sandwiches themselves, but just to the La Boulange stores and potentially the brand name.