Au Bon Pain lives to the meaning of its name: Place of Good Bread. It is a fast-casual bakery and cafe chain headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. The first Au Bon Pain location was founded by Louis Kane and Louis Rapuano in 1978. Since its establishment, the chain has expanded throughout the US, with overseas locations in India, Thailand, and South Korea.
The first Au Bon Pain café outside of Massachusetts opened in New York City in 1984. In 1991, the company went public as Au Bon Pain Co. Inc. In 1999, the Au Bon Pain division was sold to Bruckmann, Rosser, Sherrill & Co. and later on, it was sold to the Compass Group in 2000. Technically, Louis Kane was not considered a founder because Au Bon Pain in Fanueil Hall was already in existence before he and Arthur Blasburg were involved in the acquisition of the interest of Pavaillier Machinery, the manufacturers of the French equipment.
In 2005, according to Hoovers.com, the management of Au Bon Pain purchased 75 percent of the company while the Compass Group kept the remaining 25 percent. Since then until now, the company has been headed by CEO and President Sue Morelli.
As of 2008, Au Bon Pain has 230 locations in the United States and overseas. Many of these are featured in Macy’s Department Stores and Walmart. While most of the stores in the northeastern United States are company-owned, international locations as well as those featured in Macy’s and Walmart are primarily franchised. Au Bon Pain stores have already been established in transportation facilities such as train stations and airports. It also has locations in hospitals, shopping centers, and business districts in primary cities. The chain also has branches in college campuses including the University of Pennsylvania, Duke University, Auburn University, Virginia Tech, and Saint Louis University, among several others.