The owners of the Denver-based fast casual restaurant Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh have announced that they have invested in the Cafe bakery chain La Boulangerie, founded by the renowned French baker Pascal Rigo.
The French-themed cafe serves sandwiches, pastries, bread, and coffee in the San Francisco area.
The coffee chain, formerly known as Pine Street bakery, became so popular that it got on the coffee giant, Starbucks radar. In 2012, Rigo sold the company to Starbucks. But, the coffee chain then closed the chain three years later.
Rigo, disappointed that his concept was shut down, reopened it under the new name La Boulangerie. Now Rigo, along with James Park and Nicolas Bernadi, both co-owners of Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh and Michael Staenberg, a St. Louis-based real estate pioneer turned restaurateur, will be working together to grow the cafe concept and Garbanzo into new markets.
“Pascal is not only the most extraordinary French baker this side of the Atlantic, he is a tremendous restaurateur who has carved out a distinctive niche on the global culinary scene,” said James Park, CEO of Garbanzo in a press release. “Nicolas and I have been working on this deal for months, and I could not be more excited about the possibilities it presents for all of us. Pascal and Nicolas aren’t going anywhere … they will continue to be an integral part of our ‘dream team’ as we move forward with our plans for the future.”
Garbanzo currently has 28 stores, but Rigo is optimistic that together the restaurant industry leaders can bring more of both the restaurants' unique menu offerings to the masses.
“Today’s announcement is just the first step in an incredible journey that we are embarking on together,” said Rigo in a press release. “And that is great news for fans of fresh, high-quality and approachable French and Mediterranean cuisine.”