Last year, French baker and entrepreneur Pascal Rigo sold his "La Boulange" mini-empire to Starbucks for $100 million. Rigo is now leading Starbucks' effort to roll out a new "artisanal" selection of products reminiscent of intimate, home-baked goods as opposed to their usual commercial fare.
The new line-up will offer "affordable, not intimidating" pricing and is designed with the intention of looking homemade. "It's the habit of processed food to look pretty," Rigo told the LA Times. "These aren't pretty, or they're about as pretty as what you'd make at home."
The products are being introduced into Los Angeles throughout this week, with Starbucks hinting at the release via the above photo posted to Facebook with the words "Born by the Bay. Coming to the rest of CA."
The new additions include a variety of items that are gluten free, void of artificial flavors and preservatives, and filled with sustainably grown fruits and veggies. Expect to see everything from a spinach croissant made with whole wheat dough and flaxseed (below) to chocolate croissants featuring Colombian single-origin chocolate to a selection of pastries with customized glazes.
The company has also improved overall food manufacturing -- trimming down production to consumption time from as long as six months to 60 days and relying on more smaller facilities (25 to 30 bakeries nationwide), as opposed to a few massive locations.
It's the next logical step for Starbucks, as the coffee behemoth has yet to tap into the growing market of self-proclaimed "foodies."
Still, Rigo promised that he hasn't "sold out or gone corporate," stressing that there will be "no compromises" moving forward.