International café and bakery restaurant Au Bon Pain will soon take residence on the University of Michigan’s campus, opening in the Michigan Union on Jan. 7.
Known for its made-to-order as well as ready-made salad and sandwich selections, breakfast entrées, breads, pastries, fast-service soups and coffee, Au Bon Pain’s marketplace concept has broad appeal, Union officials say.
In addition to expanded meal options, the newly renovated space for Au Bon Pain will provide a more interactive and engaging gathering place, including a performance area for programming and events — such as weekly poetry slams and acoustic performances.
“Au Bon Pain will provide a variety of healthy food options in the Michigan Union, and it will also be a great social space for students,” said Adam Kleven, Michigan Union Board of Representatives chair. “Whether you plan to eat, meet up with friends, or are on-the-go between classes, Au Bon Pain meets the needs of the campus community, and I think it will be a popular location among students.”
Boston-based Au Bon Pain has more than 315 locations throughout the world including numerous offerings in India and Thailand. The bakery increasingly is inhabiting college campuses across the United States, with locations already established at Rutgers, Harvard, Penn State, Duke, Virginia Tech, Auburn, UConn, Notre Dame and others.
University Unions was impressed by Au Bon Pain’s success on these campuses, as well as its attention to the unique aspects of the U-M campus by incorporating special space designs, a menu that addresses specific dietary needs and an award-winning nutrition kiosk that shows ingredients, allergens and nutritional content of all menu items.
“Their approach fits right in with the values that are important to our community: sustainable practices, a large, varied menu and easy-to-find nutritional information,” said Susan Pile, director of the Michigan Union.
“We pride ourselves on giving guests fresh and healthy options,” said Sue Morelli, Au Bon Pain CEO. “Our menu spans from morning to night, while our service system allows guests to choose among made-to-order sandwiches and salads as well as flavorful pre-made options if they are on the run. We look forward to serving delicious food with warm hospitality to the University of Michigan community.”
Au Bon Pain has been routinely recognized for its commitment to offering consumers healthy options. Health Magazine named Au Bon Pain one of five “healthiest” restaurants, while being ranked No. 10 in FastCasual.com’s “Top 100 Movers and Shakers.” In addition, Au Bon Pain has been honored for its dedication to sustainability practices, including most recently by Duke University’s Students for Sustainable Living Program.