Yesterday, croissants around San Francisco were visibly shaken by the news that Starbucks is purchasing Bay Bread LLC, owner of the La Boulange family of cafes, for $100 million.
Which made us wonder: what does this mean for another Bay Bread property, the Lower Haight's own Cafe du Soleil?
Soleil opened in May of 2005, a partnership between Bay Bread LLC and Mustapha Hakkou. Though it's not branded as a La Boulange, the cafe has carried many of the same Bay Bread pastries and baked goods as the 19 La Boulange locations throughout the Bay Area. (Unlike La Boulange, thankfully, Soleil has beer and wine on the menu — but we digress.)
As a member of the Bay Bread empire, Soleil would have become at least partial property of Starbucks with the Bay Bread acquisition. That is, if not for what happened this past Friday.
That's when Mustapha bought out Bay Bread's stake in Cafe du Soleil, officially making him the eatery's outright owner.
Mustapha shared the news with us yesterday, when we contacted him after catching wind of the Starbucks deal. Surprisingly, he had not yet heard about the acquisition until we reached out. As such, he was unsure whether Bay Bread's sale of its stake to him was related to the Starbucks news or not.
Regardless, Mustapha seemed genuinely excited about his newfound possession of the cafe. He told us he has no plans to change its menu, and has been assured by Bay Bread that he will be able to continue selling the company's baked goods at Soleil.
We contacted Bay Bread for comment, but haven't yet received a response. If we do, rest assured we'll update this story accordingly.