In 1987, Founder George Schenk built a ten-ton wood-fired oven on the outdoor patio of the Tucker Hill Lodge in Waitsfield, Vermont. This wasn't his first attempt at a wood-fired oven, but it was the first incarnation of what would become the American Flatbread oven. A second oven followed, incorporating more elements of a traditional Quebecois-style oven with an earthen clay dome.
By 1990, loyal flatbread fans lined up to enjoy their own meal of pure ingredients transformed by rock, clay, and fire. To accommodate American Flatbread’s increasing popularity, George built the current bakery at Lareau Farm in Waitsfield, VT. The first night of operation, 110 people showed up; soon after, the restaurant offered two nights of service.
The historic Lareau Farm was settled in 1794 by Simeon Stoddard and his wife Abiah. Simeon, a descendent of influential religious leaders in Conneticut, was one of the first settlers in Waitsfield and would later become the town's second physician. His medical practice was located in his home though he may have also travelled to the private homes of patients, as needed.
Simeon and Abiah raised 12 children in the farmhouse, which is now the Lareau Farm Inn. The American Flatbread bakery and restaurant is housed within the Stoddard's original hog barn, and the newly renovated Lareau Barn was once the Stoddard's horse and cow barn. The family graveyard is perched atop a hill overlooking the farm and was once surrounded by apple trees.
Simeon died in 1841 at 80 years old. Shortly after his death, the farm was purchased by Robert J. McAllister, son of Alexander and Sarah Ann McAllister of Fayston. Robert and his wife Clara kept a dairy farm on the property. The McAllisters kept the farm for 50 years. After Robert died in 1930, the farm passed to Phillipe and Fleurette Lareau.
George Schenk, founder and owner of American Flatbread, purchased the farm in 1995.