Au Bon Pain
Address: 60 Broad St, New York, NY 10004
Phone Number: (617) 423-2100
Hours Of Operation: Varies by café
Type Of Cuisine: Café bakery offering baked goods, sandwiches, salads, soups and more
At each of its 39 locations throughout the five boroughs – just as at its more than 300 units across the world – fresh produce plays an integral role at Au Bon Pain fast-casual café bakeries.
“Produce is a vital component of our concept, as Au Bon Pain is committed to fresh, handmade foods in all our cafés,” explains spokeswoman Brittany Rugg. “We always include fresh produce elements in our seasonal menus, as well as a mainstay in our ongoing offering. From whole avocados hand sliced for our sandwiches to ensuring our popular salads and Bon To Go Boxes have the freshest ingredients, produce is essential.”
As Rugg points out, “There has long been thinking that a meal is based around the ‘center of the plate,’ which typically involved meat and protein.” Consumer interest, however, is driving more demand for vegetarian, vegan, and plant-based options. “We believe the average consumer is interested and savvy about produce, and it’s become quite the norm for it to be more prominent.”
The chain works with a variety of local suppliers who work hard to get great produce year-round. Some of the larger key suppliers include Sid Wainer & Son, New Bedford, MA; J. Kings, Holtsville, NY; Hearn Kirkwood, Hanover, MD; and Midwest Foods, Chicago.
Diners love the freshness — not just of the bread, but the produce, as well. The chain’s popular specialty salads include:
Chicken Cobb Avocado — chicken, Romaine and field greens, fresh avocado, hardwood-smoked bacon, Gorgonzola, egg, tomatoes, cucumbers and avocado Greek yogurt dressing
Vegetarian Deluxe — Romaine and field greens, roasted peppers, Kalamata olives, Feta, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, chickpeas, red onions and balsamic vinaigrette
Chicken Caesar Asiago — chicken, Romaine, house-made croutons, asiago cheese and Caesar dressing
For seasonal and limited-time offer items, Au Bon Pain has created menu items featuring different takes on produce. For example, the cafés featured a sweet potato mash for a sandwich last winter, “and of course we embrace pumpkins for the fall season for great baked pastries like our Pumpkin Pie Bon Tart,” says Rugg.
Each year, Au Bon Pain debuts a new holiday menu that prominently features fresh produce. Among its more popular holiday items have been:
The Chicken & The Artichoke — pulled chicken, artichoke tapenade, roasted red peppers, Fontina cheese and baby spinach tossed in a lemon shallot vinaigrette on a rustic baguette
The Countryside Herb Omelet — omelet with parsley, chives and tarragon, Fontina cheese, black forest ham and arugula tossed in a lemon Dijon vinaigrette.