San Francisco based cafe and bakery chain La Boulangerie has acquired local frozen yogurt sensation Loving Cup from founders Liz and Dez Fiedler. La Boulangerie partners Pascal Rigo, Nicolas Bernadi, Michael Staenberg, and James Park announced the acquisition today. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Loving Cup’s “swirl shops” are known for their rice puddings and non-fat frozen yogurt swirled to order with a customer’s choice of mix-ins like nuts, fruit, candy, and cookies. The brand’s first location opened in 2008 in Russian Hill, and Loving Cup has grown steadily since. Its most recent location, the fifth overall, opened on the busy Divisadero strip this summer.
Loving Cup’s new ownership is likely to spell accelerated expansion for the frozen yogurt company. La Boulangerie operates nine locations, but in a past incarnation, as La Boulange, founder Pascal Rigo experienced massive scale when Starbucks purchased the 23-location brand for $100 million. Starbucks later shuttered all La Boulange stores, many of which Rigo, Bernadi, et al. resurrected under the new La Boulangerie de San Francisco moniker.
La Boulangerie’s relationship with Loving Cup has been ongoing: Last year, Rigo and Bernadi made a financial investment in Loving Cup with plans to begin franchising the yogurt shop. The brand will continue to expand through both franchising and company-owned stores.
In Hayes Valley, where Loving Cup and La Boulangerie operate in close proximity, “We were going to Loving Cup all the time in the afternoon,” Bernadi recalled to Eater SF. “We always loved the product, the creaminess, it’s probiotic. You can blend whatever you want into it, and an hour later you feel great.”
Now under full La Boulangerie control, Bernadi promises an updated rice pudding assortment, new mix-ins for frozen yogurt, La Boulangerie baked goods, and “drinkable treats.”