La Boulangerie de San Francisco—the iconic café bakery known as much for its authentic French atmosphere as its one-of-a-kind 27-layer croissant and its mouthwatering, scratch-made pastries, breads and sandwiches—is continuing to transform the bakery café space and is making huge moves toward robust expansion with impressive franchise opportunities.
In July 2012, famed founder, renowned French baker Pascal Rigo, famously sold La Boulange, now known as La Boulangerie de San Francisco, to Starbucks only to be reopened again by Rigo under its present name. Now, back under the highly skilled hands of its founder, the legendary neighborhood staple is ready to become a fast-casual powerhouse.
“Similar to the California Gold Rush, Pascal brought the ‘Bread Rush’ to San Francisco and now he’s going to spread it across the U.S.,” says James Park, partner of La Boulangerie. “It’s because of Pascal’s commitment to crafting unbelievable food using quality ingredients that he is able to create a one-of-a-kind brand that caught Starbucks’ attention. So much so, that Starbucks purchased La Boulange for $100 million in cash and brought Pascal on as senior vice president of the bakery. During his time at Starbucks, Pascal doubled food revenue and changed the entire supply chain. He is not only the most extraordinary French baker this side of the Atlantic, he is a tremendous restaurateur who has carved out a distinctive niche on the global culinary scene. Our goal is not only to have remarkable restaurants but back it up with an extraordinary business model.”
Pascal lives by the mantra “Le meilleur des pains c’est celui que l’on partage,” which means “There is nothing better than the bread we share” and he is looking for new, equally passionate franchise partners to join the charge in sharing this renowned authentic fare with the nation.
Led by a group of industry innovators, La Boulangerie began franchising in February 2019 and has already nearly sold out the entire California territory. Harman Thind is one of the notable additions to the Southern California franchise community for La Boulangerie. He is a longtime QSR multi-unit franchising veteran and managing member of Hilltop8 Investments LLC’s multi-brand portfolio. In addition to Thind, successful Chinese bakers Will and Grace Dong along with their partner Yi He have joined the team. They are all looking to sharing their passion for the French bakery business and love of innovative cooking through La Boulangerie.
“La Boulangerie has laid the groundwork for tremendous growth and we’re ready to work with ambitious franchisees to bring the brand’s high-quality menu and incomparable croissant to communities across the country,” Park adds. “People today, more than ever before, are seeking high-quality food with an artisanal touch, without preservatives and other unfamiliar ingredients. Plus, you won’t find a croissant like La Boulangerie’s anywhere else. People know this, which is why the brand has such a cult-like fan base.”
La Boulangerie is actively pursuing multi-unit operators to join its growing, successful franchise network and is targeting new desirable markets across the U.S.