Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >
Jan 1, 2008 06:39 AM

Is Au Bon Pain a "local" Bakery?

We are discussing what it means to be a "Locavore" in Boston. We live in the South End, and are looking for a local bakery ( other than at whole foods or Shaws). It appears that there are a a few -but that they mostly cater to the sweet end of the spectrum ( muffins, cakes, etc.). We are thinking about daily bread. There is an Au Bon Pain nearby- where we can purchase bread, but wonder if this chain really constitutes a local bakery.

Any thoughts or suggestions?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Clear Flour in Brookline is a boulangerie: they have a few sweet things, but they focus primarily on bread. It's not only local (extremely local for me, as in a five-minute walk), it's outstanding: their baguettes have won international awards.

      1. I don't think so, because shopping locally is somewhat different that being a locavore. I take locavore to mean that as much of your food (the original source) comes from local providers, but it's easier to be locavorish with produce and even meat than bakery foods, I think. All the flour, sugar, nuts, and baking chemicals generally come from far away. Coffee is like that too-- sure, your local independent coffee shop seems "local" and small scale, but the coffee itself is pretty far-flung. Part of locavore eating is about reducing carbon footprint, and so when it comes to bakeries, it may make less of a difference than with other types of food. All that said, you can probably find better tasting bread than Au Bon Pain's.

        1. ABP started in Boston but was destined for international chaindom from the start. It was never meant to be 1 or 2 outpost bakery. Financially a true success story with outlets as far as Asia.Iggy's is local and sells at WF and the Copley Farmers market in season. Nashoba Brook, etc. In other hoods, Fornax, B and R and at Sel de la Terre.

          1. I don't know if ABP is "local" or not but I don't find it to be very good.