Panera Bread rises in downtown Grand Rapids


Panera Bread donates all unsold bread and baked goods to local hunger-relief agencies. Photo via

The wait for a new Panera Bread in downtown Grand Rapids is almost over.

Panera is opening a new bakery café at 6 a.m. on June 10.

The new store, at 99 Monroe Ave. NW, will employ approximately 50 people and be connected to the Louis Campau Promenade.

Panera Bread sells handcrafted, freshly baked artisan bread and offers catering service.

As part of Panera's food-dontation program, the store will donate all unsold bread and baked goods to local hunger-relief agencies.

West Michigan art

The store already has been approved as a venure for ArtPrize 2013 in September.

Local muralist, Anna Donahue, is currently working on a mural within the bakery café, which will feature iconic West Michigan images. 

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Regional franchisee

The store is owned by California-based Manna Development Group, a franchisee of Panera that runs 18 Panera eateries in West Michigan and employs more than 800 throughout the state.

“We are thrilled to open our newest bakery cafe in such a dynamic area,” said Brian Campbell, MDG’s marketing director. “We are happy to offer the many business professionals, families and students in the downtown community fresh and wholesome food choices, paired with the convenient service their busy schedules demand.

"Our concept has been embraced by the West Michigan community in the past 12 years, and we look forward to sharing our signature Panera warmth here in downtown Grand Rapids,” he said.

The opening marks another chain being added to downtown Grand Rapids’ growing roster of food options. 

JuiceBlendz, for instance, is set to open by the end of the summer, and Bagger Dave’s opened earlier this month.

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