Tartine Bakery & Café is opening in L.A., merging with Blue Bottle Coffee

Tartine Bakery & Café is opening in L.A., merging with Blue Bottle Coffee
San Francisco-based Tartine Bakery plans to open a location in Los Angeles later this year. The company, however, called off a merger with Blue Bottle Coffee. (Chad Robertson)

Angelenos in search of stellar morning buns with cinnamon sugar and candied orange will soon be able to buy Tartine Bakery's lauded pastries in Los Angeles.

Blue Bottle Coffee, the San Francisco coffee giant with two locations in Los Angeles (Arts District and Abbot Kinney), and Tartine, the Bay area company behind Bar Tartine and Tartine Bakery, are combining forces.


Both companies, known as much for their products as they are for their long lines, will merge over the next several months. Blue Bottle Coffee will serve Tartine pastries at all of its locations, including sweet and savory items, and all current and future locations of Tartine Bakery will serve Blue Bottle Coffee.

Tartine co-founder Chad Robertson also plans on opening a Tartine Bakery at 584 Mateo St. in Los Angeles, next to the Blue Bottle Coffee, later this year.

"I'm really excited about Los Angeles right now, there are so many amazing things happening with the food scene," said Robertson. "I was there a few weeks ago and everyone that I kind of talked to, chef friends, were so welcoming."

With the merger, Robertson will become CEO of Tartine, and co-founder Elisabeth Prueitt will remain executive pastry chef. The two will also sell Bar Tartine to chefs Nick Balla and Courtney Burns and focus on expanding Tartine Bakery.

Robertson said he'd been approached by different coffee companies before, but that Blue Bottle was the right fit for the direction he's taking his Tartine Bakery.

"I've known James, we've been friends since the beginning, and I've always respected his extreme attention to detail," said Robertson. "I can offer my team only the support I have up to a certain point, then I really needed to find a team I could join that would be able to offer them the support that I couldn't. Blue Bottle is that team."

With the help of Blue Bottle Coffee, Robertson plans to continue to expand into Japan and New York City, as well as Los Angeles over the next year.

"Chad and I have known each other for years -- Blue Bottle and Tartine opened around the same time," said James Freeman, CEO and founder of Blue Bottle Coffee, in a statement to The Times. "I am always impressed with the skill, attention to detail and innovation that the Tartine team brings into every loaf of bread and pastry."

As far as specific Tartine Bakery products to be sold at both Los Angeles Blue Bottle Coffee locations, Robertson said he and Freeman are still figuring out the details.

"We want to decide what makes the most sense in each location, and it's not going to be the same everywhere," said Robertson. "We are just trying to bring more good coffee and good food to people."

In addition to serving each other's products, Tartine's existing locations will incorporate Blue Bottle's infrastructure and service support.

The news comes a year after Blue Bottle purchased the downtown Los Angeles-based Handsome Coffee Roasters and the Tonx digital coffee subscription company. Blue Bottle is also working on opening two new locations in San Francisco and a retail and roasting project in Tokyo.

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