WHDN (was Re: Food Chains (was: Blaw-Knox towers and Nashville))

Dan.Strassberg dan.strassberg@att.net
Sat Mar 19 06:49:33 EDT 2011

Where Panera started is an interesting discussion. There is a
convincing argument that it started in Boston (South Boston, actually)
at the Marine Industrial Park, where it maitained its corporate HQ and
Boston-area commisary. Back then, the company name was Au Bon
Pain. As I recall, the story goes something like this: The guy who is
now CEO and chairman of Panera bought Au Bon Pain (whose business was,
at the time, mainly takeout), moved the corporate headquarters from
Boston to St Louis, changed the corporate name to St Louis Bread Co,
and, under the St Louis Bread name, began opening the current Panera
style "bakery cafe's," which still do takeout but apparently derive
the majority of their revene from eat-in. I believe the first of the
cafe's in the Boston area was in Newton Center. That restaurant was
about to open under the St Louis Bread name when a last-minute
decision was made to use the (brand new) Panera name instead. I think
the naming stuff happened back then because the then St Louis Bread Co
was in the process of selling off the Au Bon Pain name and the
remaining Au Bon Pain locations. Anyhow, Au Bon Pain still exists, and
though the menus remain similar, has no connection with Panera, which,
by any measure (number of locations, annual revenues, per-store
revenues), now dwarfs Au Bon Pain in size. Somewhere on the Web, you
can probably find a well-researched version of this story.

After St Louis Bread/Panera divested Au Bon Pain, some ABP stores
continued under the ABP name. There was one in the Prudential Center.
I have no idea whether it still exists. In its heyday, it was very
busy all day long but the rent could have been a killer.

Dan Strassberg (dan.strassberg@att.net)
eFax 1-707-215-6367

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Larry Weil" <kc1ih@mac.com>
To: "Blaine Thompson" <irw@well.com>; "Boston Radio Interest"
Sent: Friday, March 18, 2011 9:24 PM
Subject: Re: WHDN (was Re: Food Chains (was: Blaw-Knox towers and

> At 6:14 PM -0700 3/18/11, Blaine Thompson wrote:
>>I love Panera.  My wallet and food budget have a different opinion.
> The weird thing about Panera is that in the St. Louis area only,
> where they started, they are known as St. Louis Bread Company.  But
> if you use a credit card there the charge still comes thru as Panera
> Bread.
> -- 
> Larry Weil
> Lake Wobegone, NH

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