Paradise Bakery & Cafe: The Challenge of Success
Paradise Bakery and Café: The Challenges of Success traces the journey of entrepreneur Daniel Patterson from the founding of his bakery in Southern California, through the challenges of growth, to an eventual sale, and a post-acquisition crisis. The case focuses on three key decision points for Patterson. The first centers on his decision to hire an experienced outside chief financial officer with strategic vision, succeeding the longtime and well-liked accountant the company has used for years. Patterson must figure out how to communicate this decision to his senior leadership team, addressing their concerns about her compensation and whether she will fit into the company. The second challenge focuses on how Patterson should break the news to employees (and the rest of the world) that the founders have decided to sell the company to Panera Bread, a bigger competitor with whom Patterson had stoked a vibrant rivalry. Finally, once the deal with Panera is concluded, Patterson is faced with a decision of how to steer the business just as the 2008 financial crisis is snowballing, given that he promised Panera that Paradise would open 35 new stores in two years.