Panera Bread held the Grand Opening Ceremony and “Baguette Cutting” for its new Southington bakery-café and drive-thru located at 365 Queen Street on Wednesday morning, February 19, 2014. Southington’s Assistant Town Manager Mark Sciota, Economic Development Coordinator Lou Perillo, and Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Arthur Secondo joined 50 other members of the civic and business community to welcome Panera Bread to town.
The event included a check presentation totaling $6,589 to four community-based non-profit organizations that were the beneficiaries of Panera Bread’s pre-opening fundraising events held Friday and Saturday, February 14 and 15: Southington Bread for Life, Foodshare, Southington Community Theatre, and Southington Education Foundation.
On Monday morning, February 19, Panera Bread opened the new Southington bakery-café and drive-thru to the public for its first day of business. The Southington Panera location has 60 full-time and part-time employees. Hours are Monday through Thursday from 6am to 9:30pm, Friday and Saturday from 6am to 10pm, and Sunday from 7am to 8pm, with Panera Catering and delivery also available by calling 860-621-3536.
Panera Bread’s mission is to offer high-quality food in an inviting and comfortable environment, while making a difference in the communities it serves. The company carries out its purpose-driven philosophy to “Live Consciously” by participating in charitable events and by donating all unsold bread and baked goods at the end of each day to local hunger-relief agencies and charities through its “Day-End Dough-Nation” program. Southington Bread for Life, Charities of Hope, Plainville Community Food Pantry, Southington Community Services, The Salvation Army, The Tabernacle, and United Way of Southington will receive the new Southington cafe’s leftover bakery items.
The Southington location is the 16th Panera Bread bakery-café and the first with a drive-thru in Connecticut owned and operated by the Howley Bread Group (HBG). Over the past 10 years, with their customers’ support, Panera Bread/HBG has donated over $7 million in food and funds to local charities within its communities. Panera Bread/HBG also has a Donations Department where organizations can request food donations for various non-profit fundraisers and events. Please visit www.panerabreadhbg.com and click on “Donations, Partnerships and Charities” to request a donation.
One of Panera’s top franchises, the Howley Bread Group owns and operates a total of 28 bakery-cafes in the Rhode Island, Southeastern Massachusetts and Eastern Connecticut markets. The company’s other Panera bakery-cafes in Connecticut are located in Bristol, Canton, Enfield, Glastonbury, Groton, Hartford, Foxwoods Resort & Casino, Lisbon, Manchester (two locations at the Shoppes at Buckland Hills and at 179 Deming Street), Newington, Waterford, West Hartford and Wethersfield. Panera caters and delivers, too; visit www.paneracatering.com for a list of catering cafes.
Pictured left-to-right are Panera Bread Marketing Coordinator Amanda daCunha, Southington Education Foundation Treasurer Alan DeBisschop, Foodshare Events Coordinator Jordan Nyberg, Southington Community Theatre President Heidi Bass-Lamberto, and Panera Bread Marketing Director Wendy Kopp (not pictured: Southington Bread for Life Executive Director Eldon Hafford).