Have you ever made a croissant? I am not speaking about Pillsbury Crescents or some ready-made approximation of a real French croissant, I am referring to laminated dough, with two or three rises, buttery soft interior, with a golden flakey exterior. No? I didn’t think so. This is not because they are not delicious; it is because they are a huge labor to pull off. This is why most people either buy their croissants fresh from the bakery (at about $2 or $3 a pop) or settle for some pale store-bought approximation.
The reason I bring up this bit of croissant shaming, is because Americans love croissants (like it is still the 80s) and the beloved pastry will soon be that much easier to obtain as Starbucks does for the croissant what it once did for coffee – baking and distributing them on a massive industrial scale.
About a year ago Starbucks purchased the hugely popular San Francisco bakery, La Boulange, for $100 million. According to an article in the Atlantic, ”The goal was nothing less than serving La Boulange-quality croissants and other pastries to Starbucks’ 40 million customers in its 8,000 company-operated stores in the United States. Sandwiches, soups and salads wouldn’t be far behind.” While the Starbucks-sponsored croissant invasion has yet to commence, it is no doubt that they are poised to become “big bread” as much as they are now “big coffee.”
That said, the higher ups at Starbucks might want to take a page from the Dominique Ansel bakery in NYC, which is doing bonkers business with the “cronut,” a croissant-doughnut hybrid that has captured the dollars and imagination of indulgent New Yorkers. Like the Magnolia Cupcake craze of a few years back, these “cronuts” (at $5 a piece) are creating a mini-hysteria and selling out well before the late risers stumble in (there have been reports of “cronut” scalping for up to $40 each). Ridiculous? Sure it is.