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The Meaning Unveiled: Decoding Au Bon Pain’s Significance

The Story Behind Au Bon Pain: From Good Bread to Global Coffee Chain

Au Bon Pain, a renowned café and bakery chain with more than 250 locations worldwide, has been delighting guests for more than 40 years. The name itself, “Au Bon Pain,” carries a significant meaning that reflects the brand’s core philosophy and culinary excellence.
A discovery that led to success
In 1978, Au Bon Pain founder Louis Kane had an epiphany while exploring Boston’s Faneuil Hall Marketplace. He came across a new line of French ovens that caught his attention. Recognizing their potential, Kane promptly installed one of these ovens in his first store, setting the stage for a thriving business centered on freshly baked breads and pastries.
A culinary evolution: From Au Bon Pain to Panera Bread
Over the years, Au Bon Pain’s success paved the way for significant developments in the culinary world. In 1993, the company acquired the St. Louis Bread Company, which eventually morphed into the widely recognized Panera Bread brand. Panera’s acquisition of Au Bon Pain in 2017 further cemented the connection between the two chains, which share common roots and a dedication to exceptional dining experiences. However, in 2021, Panera decided to part ways with Au Bon Pain, selling it to Ampex Brands.
The implication: “From Good Bread”
Curious diners often wonder about the meaning behind the name “Au Bon Pain.” The answer lies in its French origin, where the phrase translates to “from good bread. The brand’s official website explains the importance of bread as the foundation of a satisfying meal. Au Bon Pain believes that a sandwich, a delicious pastry, or a hearty soup or salad can only reach its full potential when paired with quality bread.
A menu made with passion
Au Bon Pain prides itself on creating exceptional dishes using simple ingredients. With a commitment to culinary excellence, their restaurants offer breakfast options throughout the day with sandwiches served on baguettes and bagels. For lunch and dinner, guests can enjoy a wide selection of signature and cafe sandwiches, wraps and seasonal dishes, complemented by their delicious baked goods. Au Bon Pain’s bakery is a treasure trove of sweet and savory pastries, including tantalizing cinnamon chip scones and an array of delicious croissants that pay homage to their French roots.
Embracing the Essence of “Good Bread
Au Bon Pain’s philosophy revolves around the belief that all of its food comes from “good bread.” This core principle permeates every aspect of their menu and culinary offerings. By prioritizing the art of bread-making and using it as the cornerstone of their creations, Au Bon Pain delivers an unparalleled dining experience that satisfies even the most discerning palate.
A Global Legacy Built on Good Bread
From its humble beginnings in the vibrant city of Boston to its global reach, Au Bon Pain’s commitment to quality and passion for culinary innovation has made it an iconic name in the café and bakery industry. With an emphasis on “good bread” and a diverse menu that caters to a variety of tastes and preferences, Au Bon Pain continues to delight guests with its delicious offerings, creating memorable dining experiences that resonate with bread lovers worldwide.
Whether you’re enjoying a sandwich, a pastry or a comforting bowl of soup, remember that at Au Bon Pain, it all starts with good bread.


The name “Au Bon Pain” translates to “of good bread” in French. It signifies the brand’s emphasis on quality bread as the foundation of a satisfying meal.

How did Au Bon Pain begin?

Au Bon Pain began in 1978 when founder Louis Kane discovered new French ovens while exploring Boston’s Faneuil Hall Marketplace. He installed one of these ovens in his first store, which led to the success of his freshly baked breads and pastries.

What happened to Au Bon Pain and Panera Bread?

In 1993, Au Bon Pain acquired the St. Louis Bread Company, which later became Panera Bread. In 2017, Panera Bread acquired Au Bon Pain, bringing the two brands under common ownership. However, in 2021, Panera sold Au Bon Pain to Ampex Brands.

What types of food does Au Bon Pain offer?

Au Bon Pain offers a diverse menu that includes breakfast items such as sandwiches on baguettes and bagels, signature and cafe sandwiches for lunch and dinner, wraps, seasonal dishes, and an extensive bakery section with sweet and savory pastries.

What is the philosophy behind the Au Bon Pain menu?

Au Bon Pain prides itself on using simple ingredients to create high quality food. Their philosophy centers around the belief that all dishes should “come from good bread,” emphasizing the importance of quality bread as the foundation of a satisfying meal.

How many locations does Au Bon Pain have?

Au Bon Pain has more than 250 locations worldwide, allowing guests to enjoy their delicious offerings in different cities and countries.

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