Our History

Celebrating Over 60 Years Of Excellence

With the single goal of making great bread broadly available to consumers across America, the Panera brand franchises freshly bake more bread each day than any bakery-cafe concept in the country. Every day, at every location, trained bakers handcraft and bake each loaf from scratch, using all-natural ingredients to ensure the highest quality breads.

At the American Bread Company, we understand that great, freshly baked bread served by talented, friendly people in an exceptional environment makes great meals – including made-to-order sandwiches, tossed-to-order salads and soup served in bread bowls. Our menu items, which start with our all natural, preservative-free breads, feature only the freshest, highest quality ingredients.

The American Bread Company and The Strang Corporation

The American Bread Company is proudly owned by Strang Corporation. For over 60 years, the Cleveland, Ohio-based Strang Corporation, has always been regarded as a leading premier hospitality company and an innovative service industry provider with a strong technology infrastructure. Remarkably, Strang Corporation remains a long-standing privately held company still owned and principally operated by members of the founding family. 

Strang Corporation is a diverse hospitality company having sister companies with restaurants across four states with over $100 million of managed sales and over 1,800 employees. Strang Corporation values cultivation of talented people who naturally excel with a passion for the hospitality profession. Building management teams dedicated to consistently delivering on a restaurant’s brand promise has been the cornerstone of success.

meet our Leadership team

Don Strang III

Chairman of the Board

Donald Strang III is Chairman of the Board of Strang Corporation, which currently operates two specialty restaurants (Don’s Lighthouse Grille and Don’s Pomeroy House) in Cleveland, Ohio. Don is also Chief Executive Officer of American Bread Company LLC (ABC), and American Salons LLC. American Bread Company operates over forty Panera Bread Bakery Cafes in the Philadelphia and Salt Lake City markets. American Salons operates six Sola Salons in Maryland and Ohio.

Previously, Don was the President and Chief Operating Officer for Apple American Group. Apple American Group, formed in 1984, was one of the first franchisees in the Applebee’s system and was one of its largest franchisees at the time of its sale in November 2001.

Don is currently on the Franchisee Advisory Council of Panera and is an active member of the Cleveland Chapter of  YPO Gold.

Don graduated from the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration and received his M.B.A. from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University.

Peter R. Strang


Pete Strang is the CEO of American Bread Company which operates over forty Panera Bread Bakery Cafes in the Philadelphia and Salt Lake City markets. Pete joined American Bread in 2013 where he started as a General Manager. In 2015 he was promoted to District Manager and was subsequently promoted to Director of Development prior to being named President in 2019.

Pete is currently an active member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) in Philadelphia, PA.

Pete graduated from Cornell University School of Hotel Administration and received his M.B.A from the Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University.

Peter W. Strang


Peter is the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Strang Corporation, managing its two properties: Don’s Lighthouse and Don’s Pomeroy House in Cleveland, Ohio. In addition, he is Executive Vice President Development of American Bread Company where he is responsible for all site selection, construction, and remodels for the company’s Panera Cafes.

Previously, Peter served as the Chief Operating Officer of American Bread Company and Apple American, where he supervised over sixty Applebee’s restaurants.

Peter graduated from Cornell University School of Hotel Administration and received his M.B.A from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University.

Matthew Garito


Matt is the Chief Financial Officer of Strang Corporation and its affiliate entities including American Bread Company and American Salons.  Matt oversees all areas of corporate administration including finance, legal, insurance, IT and HR.  He has over 30 years of professional experience in these areas, having served previously in similar roles at companies of varying sizes and industries.  Most recently, he was CFO at a technology solutions firm from 2016 to 2022.

Matt currently serves as the President of the Brecksville Community Improvement Corporation, which guides development projects between local businesses and his city of residence.  He has served on other boards and committees including the United Way and volunteered as a coach/leader in various youth sports and civic organizations.

Matt graduated from the Lehigh University School of Business with a B.S. in Accountancy and maintains an active C.P.A. license with the state of OH.


Our mission is to be the premier hospitality Company having the best people to do Whatever It Takes to deliver quality products and excellent service to every customer.


Commitment to our People – Our People are our most valuable resource

Integrity – We are comfortable seeing our actions and decisions made public

Accountability We will hold ourselves responsible for the standards we set in order to achieve our goals

Continuous Learning – We will strive to be lifelong learners and apply what we learn to improve ourselves personally, professionally, and as an organization


  • In treating everyone with dignity and respect.
  • That a positive attitude is the most important attribute of Our people.
  • Our people have a right to know the reasons underlying company goals, standards, and procedures.
  • In encouraging Our people to openly express their opinions, concerns, and ideas.
  • Hospitality is the basis of our business, and we will treat customers as if they are guests in our home.
  • Profits provide possibilities.
  • In celebrating success.
  • In making a positive impact on our communities.