WASHINGTON Striving to grow its catering business, the 200-unit Au Bon Pain bakery-cafe chain, has opened a centralized kitchen in Washington, D.C. The commissary will supply smaller units in the area as well as catered events for up 5,000 people. Officials of Boston-based Au Bon Pain said they expect the 4,500-square-foot facility to increase sales in the Washington area by as much as 25 percent during the next year.

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