SFGate is reporting that Starbucks has purchased Bay Breads/La Boulange, with the intention of (1)integrating La Boulange pastries and products into the Starbucks line, and (2) eventually taking La Boulange national in some way.
From my experience, Starbucks is a brand killer. They've previously acquired businesses with the stated intention of using the acquisition to broaden their food offerings, but usually end up closing the business, sometimes using the lease for yet another SB. I happen to like La Boulange as a good place to have coffee and a light breakfast when I come into the City; and don't really see how this will be a good outcome for them.
Time will tell, but I'm not encouraged.