A New (To Me) Starbucks Concept: La Boulange

Last week, we were about to begin our drive home from Albany, but I needed some breakfast, so we stopped at a Starbucks before we hit the road.

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I ordered my usual fav, a plain butter croissant, without even looking at the rest of the pastries in the case.

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It was taking a little longer to get my croissant than I was used to, and I realized they went off to heat it up, though I didn’t ask them too.  Only then did I glance at the pastry case and notice that the selections looked a little different from what I was used to!

Once I got my croissant and glanced at the bag, I realized Starbucks was operating a bit differently than usual.  Apparently, their concept was now of a Café and Bakery called La Boulange!  And pastries were now served warm!

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I was in New York, where calorie counts are posted, and I noticed all of the pastries were a lot smaller than I was used to in Rhode Island Starbucks.  Therefore, the posted calorie counts were pretty reasonable (the croissant was about 70 calories less than it used to be). Also, they had a much bigger variety of items, from muffins to savory tarts to individual loaf cakes (as opposed to slices of cake).  I grabbed a brochure eager to learn about the new concept, which I thought was pretty cool!

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I went on their website to see what it said about this new La Boulange concept:

We believe that great coffee deserves to be paired with great food. That’s why we’ve partnered with La Boulange to bring their delicious pastries to our stores. La Boulange is a San Francisco bakery and café that has been serving artisanal pastries, and great food since 1996. From the beginning, a passion to offer wholesome food has made La Boulange a local favorite. Now we’re bringing their delicious food to you. Like Starbucks and coffee, La Boulange has always stood for so much more than just finely baked goods. We both exist to inspire human connections—and together we are creating a warm, inviting space where you can gather with friends and family to share time, stories, great coffee and now, fantastic food. Sit tight and stay tuned as we expand the new La Boulange™ baked goods across the country, it’s well worth the wait.

(Source)

I had never seen this before, so I assumed it the concept hadn’t hit RI yet, but later that day, my husband and I went for a walk in our neighborhood and noticed the Starbucks on Thayer Street in Providence also was a La Boulange Café!

I may be reporting on something you all already know about, but I thought it was a pretty sweet concept!  I love how the pastries were normal-sized and therefore not caloric bombs.  I adore how creative some of the options were (pumpkin cheesecake croissant, almond cookies, butternut and sage savory square).  I definitely will be grabbing treats from Starbucks more often now without feeling like it’s a treat food versus something I can eat more often!

How you experienced the Starbucks La Boulange concept yet?

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