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Business Thu May 19 2011

Logan Square CroissantGate: a New Layer

Thumbnail image for logan mwke.JPGThe kerfuffle between Logan Square's New Wave Coffee and La Boulangerie has turned a new corner. If you'll recall, the French bakery moved into the space next to the coffee shop last fall--kind of a boneheaded move, given the noncompete agreement that favored New Wave when it came to goods that both businesses could sell--among them croissants, a major staple of any French bakery. As a result, New Wave was free to individually sell the horns of buttery, flaky goodness, whereas La Boulangerie could only sell theirs by the dozen.

The Stew is reporting that La Boulangerie has found a clever workaround to the noncompete: their outdoor patio, which is approved by the City for operation and isn't subject to the agreement they have with New Wave. So while you can't get an individual croissant inside La Boulangerie, you certainly can outside. La Boulangerie owner (and now the recipient of Drive-Thru's "Rey Colon Award for Excellence in Community Relations") Vincent Colombet reportedly boasted that "outside the building, we can do whatever we want," whereas New Wave owner Zach Zulauf is frustrated by his neighbor's crafty behavior, calling the situation "aggravating."

 

genius / May 19, 2011 10:17 AM

Why can't these two businesses come to a mutually beneficial agreement? How hard is it for the bakery to provide discount croissants to the coffee shop?

Lisa / May 19, 2011 11:11 AM

Is the bakery really going to hurt his business? New Wave is packed to the brim most days. And they sell out of their croissants a lot.

Honestly I've stopped going there and now go to Cafe Mustache because this guy has been such a dick to La Boulangerie.

Helen / May 19, 2011 3:45 PM

Yeah, sorry, I'm on La Boulangerie's side on this one. It's nothing like the farmers' market issue--people want to buy La Boulangerie's croissants, and the business is responding to demand.

(Perhaps New Wave could start stocking tastier, less burned croissants to compete.)

Jen / May 19, 2011 4:51 PM

Hahahaha, I love these commenters who don't understand non-compete agreements. Colombet could've rented any number of empty storefronts in Logan Square and yet chose this one despite the clause in his lease. Pretty cut and dry to me.

Annie / May 19, 2011 6:31 PM

What kind of idiot opens a French bakery when he can't sell croissants? And then tries to negotiate the terms AFTER the contract is signed? Isn't this Business 101? That corner was full of unoccupied spaces that would have been a better option.

Jim Hiss / May 21, 2011 1:24 PM

I'd rather have a mediocre croissant from New Wave than give La Boulangerie any more of my business.

Patricia / May 23, 2011 3:33 PM

Hoorah!!I am glad the bakery has figured a work-around. New Wave is generally out of croissants when I go there for one or two so it will be great to buy them at the bakery. If NW wanted to be neighborly you would think they would buy their croissants from the bakery. Seems like good business to me. A win-win. In this economy, helping your neighbor out can only help your own business in the long run. The two businesses together bring more customers to the corner. That makes sales for both of them. Put down the swords!! Work together for the good of the whole.

Don / June 13, 2011 4:48 PM

Having La Boulangerie on the corner is the best excuse for me to take the next train stop and walk more to/from home. I do wish the two businesses could work out a mutually beneficial deal but until then my tummy votes for a kick-ass croissant over OK coffee.

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By Judy Wu

I was using Rick Bayless' restroom, I mused, staring up at the ceiling window that was projecting a heavenly beacon of light upon my less-than-angelic duties. I could barely distinguish Rick's faint murmurs through the orange walls, something about how...
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