The New Retail Thread

Lrfox

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The au bon pain on Cambridge street in the West end/beacon Hill has closed. There are signs that a flour will replace it and open in the spring. As someone who lives close, this is clearly an upgrade and helps solve the problem of no good fast breakfast place in beacon Hill
Wow, this is great news. It's actually not a bad space for that side of the street and I think they can do a much better job with it than ABP did.
 

fattony

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Tatte=corporate and sterile. Flour=moderately less so
Wow, neither of those things were true 5 years ago. I haven’t been into a Tatte since the acquisition, but I was in a newer Flour location a few months ago and didn’t think it was “moderately corporate and sterile.” It was jam packed with people which wasn’t pleasant, but I don’t know what you could mean by your comment.
 

cjbski

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Not for a while now, they sold their stake, though I think to their former founder/executive who lives locally.
Not sure this is true. All I can find is that Tatte is owned (majority stake) by Panera. Never saw news it was sold by Panera - can you back that up?
 

cjbski

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Nice to see it will be a Flour and not a Tatte, those places are multiplying like a disease right now. I didnt even realize a new one had opened in the old B3 spot in Berkley. Tatte=corporate and sterile. Flour=moderately less so
Flour is not corporate and sterile in any way, shape, or form. Tatte barely is either -- I agree it's overpriced and not amazing, but they're still all locally owned in Boston and have beautiful spaces.
 

ErnieAdams

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Not sure this is true. All I can find is that Tatte is owned (majority stake) by Panera. Never saw news it was sold by Panera - can you back that up?
It happened in 2017, per the below. Panera only owned Tatte for about a year, and only then a slim majority stake. The founder is probably happy with where she is now, but fair to say that the perception of having gone corporate was a blow to the chain's reputation, since most people still seem to think that Panera owns them three years later.

Link: https://www.boston.com/food/restaurants/2019/03/25/tatte-new-locations

Relevant quote:

In 2016, Or sold just over 50 percent of her company to Panera Bread and continued to operate Tatte as an independent company. In 2017, when Panera founder and CEO Ron Shaich sold Panera for $7.5 billion to JAB Holding Corp. and left the company, he took Panera’s share of Tatte with him.
 

JumboBuc

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Tatte is also owned by Panera.
Tatte is not owned by Panera.

Ron Shaich was the owner of Panera, and they bought a stake in Tatte back in early-2016. At the time it was reported as "Panera buys Tatte." However, Schaich sold Panera to the German holding company that also owns Caribou Coffee, Peet’s Coffee, and Krispy Kreme the next year, in 2017. Panera's stake in Tatte didn't transfer with this sale. It remains with Schaich.
Boston Globe said:
Tatte owner Or has also made an effort to publicize that Panera Bread is no longer an investor in Tatte. Panera was sold to JAB Holding Co.
Shaich is a local guy, and as well as Tatte he's also a major investor in /owner of Life Alive, Clover, and CAVA.

Interestingly, Shaich's original restaurant - The Cookie Jar in DTX - was purchased by Au Bon Pain back in the '80s. ABP was later going through bankruptcy, and Shaich acquired the chain. Shaich's ABP then acquired the store that would later became Panera in the early-90s. ABP was then spun off from Panera in the late-90s but later reacquired by Panera in 2017. Today, ABP and Panera are under the same holding company, but without Shaich.


That's a few decades of musical chairs in the Boston bakery chain space.
 
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cjbski

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It happened in 2017, per the below. Panera only owned Tatte for about a year, and only then a slim majority stake. The founder is probably happy with where she is now, but fair to say that the perception of having gone corporate was a blow to the chain's reputation, since most people still seem to think that Panera owns them three years later.

Link: https://www.boston.com/food/restaurants/2019/03/25/tatte-new-locations

Relevant quote:
Thank you! Surprised there wasn't more media attention given to this...
 

cjbski

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That's a few decades of musical chairs in the Boston bakery chain space.
Listen to Guy Raz's "How I Built This" episode with Ron about Panera/Au Bon Pain. Then it gets even MORE confusing.
 

Suffolk 83

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Thanks for the clarification Jumbo. Solidifies my feeling that this wasnt a small startup, I had heard something about Panera but didnt know the details. I thought it may have been VC money, this guy calls himself a venture manager. Same difference. There was no way Tatte was multiplying at this rate without some major backing. Hence my corporate statement. It's nice that its a local startup but its a corporate chain, or in the making.
 

Lrfox

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Blackbird

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Tatte=corporate and sterile. Flour=moderately less so
How do you feel about Pavement?

I personally like Tatte well enough. The food is overpriced, but I try to go once every other month or so because (while expensive) it’s really yummy!
 

Suffolk 83

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How do you feel about Pavement?

I personally like Tatte well enough. The food is overpriced, but I try to go once every other month or so because (while expensive) it’s really yummy!
I honestly don't have much experience with Pavement, I've been in the Newbury st one and got a regular coffee if memory serves. Seemed nice. Seems way more local and small-businessy than Tatte. They have way more street cred in my book
 

sm89

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I've noticed that day care centers are now taking up storefronts on seemingly every corner. Does anyone have an opinion on that?
 

dshoost88

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I've noticed that day care centers are now taking up storefronts on seemingly every corner. Does anyone have an opinion on that?
If it activates the space and means we don’t have retail vacancy, I think it’s a win. I hope the landlords aren’t charging too much to the daycare centers to operate these spaces, though. Where are you talking about?
 

TomOfBoston

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DBM

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And some wonder why Downtown Crossing retail is anemic.
Right, surely any weakness in DTX's retail sector is clearly attributable to a random one-off act of youthful hooliganism, and not the global forces of hyperappreciation of urban real estate conjoined with the Amazon juggernaut.

P.S. Care to garnish your argument with a boatload of other news stories about chronic youth violence in DTX destroying retail's conference there? Oh right, there aren't any... I mean, really, if you're going to argue something, can't you at least try to marshal supporting evidence, instead of just emitting an impulsive knee-jerk reaction?
 

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