Panera Bread(R) to Celebrate the Most Important Meal of the Day with Free Cups of Its New Coffee and Samples of New Breakfast Items

Birmingham, AL, --(PR.com)-- Bakery-Cafes Support Local Communities by Raising Funds for Operation-Dough Nation® Recipients

Something big is brewing at Panera Bread, and you're invited. On Wednesday, January 28, Birmingham, Alabama area bakery-cafes are inviting customers to celebrate Panera's new breakfast experience by sharing free cups of its new Light and Dark Roast coffees, as well as samples of its three grilled breakfast sandwiches on freshly baked Ciabatta and its new Strawberry Granola Parfait.

Panera Bread will also be inviting customers to donate a dollar to help support its Community BreadboxTM effort, one of its many Operation Dough-Nation® programs. Birmingham, Alabama bakery-cafes will join the celebration by matching customer donations, up to $250.00 per bakery-cafe, made on that day. Donations from participating Birmingham, Alabama bakery-cafes will support United Way Foodbank. In 2007, through Panera's Day-End Dough-NationTM effort, its bakery-cafes donated a retail value of more than $40 million dollars worth of bread products to charitable organizations helping to address the need for food distribution in our local communities.

"We invite local communities to join us in experiencing our new coffee and breakfast items," says Bruce Lemon, Joint Venture Partner, Alabama. "We've worked hard to create a breakfast experience our customers will love and we're very proud of the results. We hope everyone will come in and experience the care and craft that goes into everything Panera does – and help us support our local community."

Panera Bread has been working for more than two years to perfect its two unique new coffee blends—a Light Roast and a Dark Roast. The Light Roast Coffee is a new blend of some of the finest South and Central American beans, roasted lighter for a smooth, classic taste. The Dark Roast Coffee is a new blend of top Costa Rican beans, created for customers who prefer a robust, balanced, full bodied coffee. All Panera Bread bakery-cafes will continue to carry its current Hazelnut and Decaffeinated Colombian coffee blends.

"We have put the utmost care and attention into every detail of our new coffee – from selecting just the right coffee beans to roasting them in small batches to bring out the best in every bean," said Scott Davis, Chief Concept Officer at Panera Bread. "And to ensure that each cup is of the highest quality and consistency, our coffee is brewed fresh each hour throughout the day. We think our new coffee is the perfect complement to our breakfast experience."

The new coffee is in good company with Panera's newest breakfast offerings, which include a Strawberry Granola Parfait. The new Strawberry Granola Parfait is made with Stonyfield Farm® low-fat, organic vanilla yogurt, maple butter pecan granola with whole grain oats and fresh strawberries.

The company is also celebrating its three grilled breakfast sandwiches, which took Panera's expert bakers over a year to perfect. True to Panera's tradition, the company's team of culinary experts chose only exceptional quality ingredients – thin-crusted, moist Ciabatta baked fresh every day in each bakery-cafe; all-natural, pasteurized, freshly-cracked eggs; Vermont white cheddar cheese, and Applewood-smoked bacon or all-natural sausage. The made-to-order sandwich is a delicious culinary combination that can easily be taken on-the-go or savored over a leisurely breakfast in the bakery-cafe. The breakfast sandwiches are part of Panera's complete breakfast experience which also includes egg soufflés, pastries and freshly-baked bagels and breads.

About Panera Bread

Panera Bread Company owns and franchises 1,230 bakery-cafes under the Panera Bread® and Saint Louis Bread Co.® names as of October 6, 2008. With its identity rooted in handcrafted, fresh-baked, artisan bread, Panera Bread is committed to providing great tasting, quality food that people can trust. Highlighted by antibiotic free chicken, whole grain bread, select organic and all-natural ingredients and a menu with zero grams added trans fat, Panera's bakery-cafe selection offers flavorful, wholesome offerings. The menu includes a wide variety of year-round favorites, complemented by new items introduced seasonally with the goal of creating new standards in everyday food choices. In neighborhoods across the country, guests are enjoying Panera's warm and welcoming environment featuring comfortable gathering areas, relaxing decor, and free internet access provided through a managed WiFi network. At the close of each day, Panera Bread bakery-cafes donate bread and baked goods to community organizations in need.

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