Happy 30th Birthday, Bon Appétit: Introduction

In mid-1987, a food service industry veteran named Fedele Bauccio walked into a zany San Francisco outfit called Bon Appétit Catering that he had just bought along with his business partner, Ernie Collins. The assets consisted of a dingy office over a meatpacking plant, several dozen part-time staff, a warehouse full of props and decor — and a reputation for good food. From that inauspicious beginning, Fedele launched Bon Appétit Management Company.

Three decades on, that new company has revolutionized the food service industry, set the high bar for Silicon Valley’s campus food perks, started the gourmet-food fight on college campuses, and grown to a billion-dollar juggernaut with more than 1,000 cafés in 33 states. (See timeline of our major milestones.)

Take a journey through the years with these reflections from Fedele, President Michael Bauccio, original Bon Appétit Catering employee Liz Baldwin (now Chief Administrative Officer), and other Bon Appétit senior leadership:

“As we celebrate our 30 years, let’s remember there is so much more we have to achieve in order to continue our journey.”
Fedele Bauccio, CEO/Cofounder »

“We had to deliver the quality we had promised, no matter what. If we went bankrupt, we went bankrupt.”
Michael Bauccio, President »

“The last 30 years have passed in an instant. The new challenges we face are hard. But it’s still crazy fun.”
Liz Baldwin, Chief Administrative Officer »

“Many a competitor has watched and waited for our entrepreneurial, unit-level focus to change, but it hasn’t.”
Cary Wheeland, Senior Vice President »

“Fedele has turned a small catering company into an industry-leading juggernaut that works hard to do good for its clients, customers, associates, and community.”
Rob Kvitek, Regional Vice President »

“We have all witnessed the transformation of staff when we take over an account; clients comment on the change in attitudes – they have been awakened from their complacency.”
Randy De Mers, Regional Vice President »

“Do good food, do it right, don’t take shortcuts, take good care of your people, and everything else will work.”
Mark Lachance, Regional Vice President »

“It makes me so happy to look around me and see so many folks who’ve grown with me in their positions…”
Michael Venckus, Regional Vice President »

“I had always had a passion for great food, outstanding customer service, and treating associates with compassion and respect, but I had never found an organization that embodied all those basic tenets until I joined Bon Appétit.”
Elaine Smart, Regional Vice President »

“I knew I had found my dream job…and I still feel that way today.”
Carrie Buckley, Vice President of Image and Style »

“We’ve set a new standard in food service again and again. We’ve respected people, animals, and the environment. And we’ve done it while growing profitably.”
Maisie Ganzler, Chief Strategy and Brand Officer »