Tuesday, October 21, 2014

New Panera Bread gears up for today's grand opening

New Panera Bread gears up for today's grand opening

Published Tuesday, July 2, 2013

By REBECCA RIDERRRIDER@SALISBURYPOST.COM

  • JON C. LAKEY / SALISBURY POST:Salisbury's new Panera Bread is scheduled to open for customers today. Employees spent Monday making the final preparations and getting in some practice before the doors are opened to customers. Lindsey Mattick wipes off one of the coffee urns.
  • Extra Photos

    • JON C. LAKEY / SALISBURY POST Rodney Barrier, from Shear Klean, makes the final wash on the windows at the new Panera Bread on East Innes Street. The store is scheduled to open for customers on Tuesday. Employees spent Monday making the final preparations and getting in some practice before the doors are opened to customers. JON C. LAKEY / SALISBURY POST Rodney Barrier, from Shear Klean, makes the final wash on the windows at the new Panera Bread on East Innes Street. The store is scheduled to open for customers on Tuesday. Employees spent Monday making the final preparations and getting in some practice before the doors are opened to customers.
    • The new Panera Bread is scheduled to open for customers today. Employees spent Monday making the final preparations and getting in some practice before the doors are opened to customers. Marketing Manager Ashley Ketner looks over a table of practice orders that the employees produced during training on Monday. The new Panera Bread is scheduled to open for customers today. Employees spent Monday making the final preparations and getting in some practice before the doors are opened to customers. Marketing Manager Ashley Ketner looks over a table of practice orders that the employees produced during training on Monday.
    • JON C. LAKEY / SALISBURY POST The new Panera Bread is scheduled to open for customers on Tuesday. Employees spent Monday making the final preparations and getting in some practice before the doors are opened to customers. the Salisbury Panera Bread offers a drive thru for convience. JON C. LAKEY / SALISBURY POST The new Panera Bread is scheduled to open for customers on Tuesday. Employees spent Monday making the final preparations and getting in some practice before the doors are opened to customers. the Salisbury Panera Bread offers a drive thru for convience.
    • JON C. LAKEY / SALISBURY POST The new Panera Bread is scheduled to open for customers on Tuesday. Employees spent Monday making the final preparations and getting in some practice before the doors are opened to customers. Assistant Manager Tim Dixon (center) works with Jessica Cooper (left) and Charli Taylor (right) at the barista station. JON C. LAKEY / SALISBURY POST The new Panera Bread is scheduled to open for customers on Tuesday. Employees spent Monday making the final preparations and getting in some practice before the doors are opened to customers. Assistant Manager Tim Dixon (center) works with Jessica Cooper (left) and Charli Taylor (right) at the barista station.
    • JON C. LAKEY / SALISBURY POST The new Panera Bread is scheduled to open for customers on Tuesday. Employees spent Monday making the final preparations and getting in some practice before the doors are opened to customers. Christina Tesinsky takes a photograph of the staff during a break from training on monday. JON C. LAKEY / SALISBURY POST The new Panera Bread is scheduled to open for customers on Tuesday. Employees spent Monday making the final preparations and getting in some practice before the doors are opened to customers. Christina Tesinsky takes a photograph of the staff during a break from training on monday.
    • JON C. LAKEY / SALISBURY POST The new Panera Bread is scheduled to open for customers on Tuesday. Employees spent Monday making the final preparations and getting in some practice before the doors are opened to customers. Haley Pitzer listens to Mohammad Ali on the fine points of crouton making. JON C. LAKEY / SALISBURY POST The new Panera Bread is scheduled to open for customers on Tuesday. Employees spent Monday making the final preparations and getting in some practice before the doors are opened to customers. Haley Pitzer listens to Mohammad Ali on the fine points of crouton making.

It took a few years, but Panera Bread has finally arrived in Salisbury. The new store, on the corner of Innes and Arlington, opens its doors for the first time today at 6 a.m.


Co-owners John Bartlet and Greg Anderson own 14 other Panera stores from Burlington to Boone but said this location is special. They started looking around for another location about five years ago and settled on Salisbury.


Salisbury is a great place for a business, Bartlet said — a busy hub right off Interstate 85, a college town. All it was missing, Bartlet and Anderson decided, was a Panera.


“I think it just fills a void in the city,” Bartlet said.


Panera Bread is a bakery company that started in St. Louis, Mo., in 1987 as the St. Louis Bread Company. The company eventually changed its name to Panera, which means “time for bread,” to appeal to a nationwide customer base and expanded its menu to offer pastries, sandwiches, soups and pasta as well as catering and delivery.


Anderson said they'd applied to open the store with the city two years ago, and had been shopping for the perfect location since. Eventually they landed their current location in the corner of the K-mart parking lot. The Salisbury store hopes to appeal to customers with secluded seating, low-lights, fresh bread and a drive-through.


Bartlet, of High Point, said the entire experience has been great. He loves Salisbury and said that everyone he's worked with, from city officials to trainees, was kind and accommodating.


A team of new employees and managers were hired fresh from Salisbury and have been busy for the past week trying to learn everything from making coffee to baking bread. Temporary management teams and trainers are on loan from local and out-of-state stores to ensure that the new Panera is ready for its big opening.


In addition to providing breakfast, lunch and dinner to those making the trek up Innes, the Panera company also makes a point of becoming a part of the community. It's Panera company policy to donate leftovers to local charity organizations. And since Panera bakes its bread fresh every night and holds no stock over to the next day, that can add up to quite a lot. Local Marketing Manager Ashley Ketner said that in 2012, the Triad area Paneras donated over $1 million in product.


The Salisbury store is already partnered with affiliates for Rowan Helping Ministries, and is looking to work with more local organizations in the future.


In addition the store will have donation boxes set up to give to Earlier.org — an organization dedicated to finding earlier Breast Cancer detection.


In the meantime, most were eager Monday for the store to open. Ketner said that she's gotten nothing but enthusiasm from other businesses and from local residents. Potential customers have been dropping by all week to ask when the store will open.


“We expect great things from here,” Ketner said.




Rebecca Rider is a Catawba College senior and an intern at the Salisbury Post.