NPR Story
8:25 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Can The Croissant Be The New Frappuccino?

Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 3:19 pm

“Are decent baked goods only the province of the artisan, and beyond the reach of a giant corporation, however committed to craftsman-themed propaganda?”

That’s the question food expert Corby Kummer asked after learning that Starbucks had paid $100 million to buy a famed San Francisco bakery to bring high-quality pastries to all of its 11,000 U.S.stores.

Kummer set out on a reporting trip, visiting factories, talking to master bakers, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz and Pascal Rigo, the French Chef with the American dream of bringing good pastries to the public.

The new pastries are now available in Starbucks stores across the nation.

As Kummer wrote for the Smithsonian Magazine, the important point is that Starbucks might be able to “create demand for better food from millions of customers, who won’t want to go back to bad pastry—and will go to local bakers and restaurants that do what Starbucks and La Boulange do, but better, if only because they do it on a small, handmade scale, and can (and should) charge more for it.”

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