Burnaby bakers in Canada layoffs 50 employees

The coffee's still brewed in-store, but British Columbia Starbucks customers won't be able to order locally made baked goods with their grande cappuccino any more.

The Seattle-based global coffee giant has severed its contract with Burnaby bakers Monte Cristo, putting 50 people out of work.

"We have consolidated some of our baked goods suppliers in Canada to ensure consistent quality of these products," Starbucks Canada said in a statement.

"We will continue to work with multiple vendors across the country to source many of our products spanning a variety of categories, including dairy, sandwiches and our Bistro Boxes. We value the partnerships we have with our suppliers and thank them for their efforts to produce and deliver Starbucks products to our customers."

For close to 17 years the Monte Cristo Bakery has baked batches of scones and cinnamon stick twists for Starbucks stores in B.C. and Alberta.

But owner Karim Nathoo told media this week that Starbucks informed him a few weeks ago the company was switching to a national source, rather than regional suppliers.

The loss of such a large contract has meant the company has had to shed dozens of full-time jobs, bringing its workforce down to about 90 employees from 145 last year.

Customers enjoying their coffee breaks at a Langley Starbucks Tuesday expressed some concern, both over the layoffs and the future freshness of bakery products.

"The sad thing is, isn't that true of many places?" said Sue Marshall of Langley, referring to the practice of outsourcing and shipping restaurant food items from afar.

"You go wherever it is more reasonable. That's the way this economy is. The sad thing is we lose jobs. But whatever happens, people are still going to go to Starbucks."

"I'd like to keep the jobs within Canada," said customer Andrew Sanche, a fan of the chain's blueberry oat bar.

"Obviously though, I appreciate that they are trying to make a buck and if it is cheaper for them (to centralize) . . . hopefully the product quality won't go down. I'm pretty addicted to Starbucks."

Andrea Slamaj of Surrey, B.C., said the change, "doesn't really come as a shock to me, it's what's happening in the business world, they're trying to cut costs where they can. My concern would be freshness. And keeping jobs in Canada is important, too."

"But I don't really buy baked goods at Starbucks in the first place," she added. "I'm a Tim Hortons fan, myself."

Source: Canada