Panera Bread® Opens First Oxnard Location with the Help of Notable Athlete Partners

Former and Current NFL Players Keyshawn Johnson, Reggie Bush, Dennis Northcutt, Anthony Henry, Warrick Dunn, Keith Rivers, Eric Allen and Terence Newman Continue Panera’s expansion with first location in Oxnard.

Oxnard, CA, November 01, 2012 - (PR.com) - Panera Bread will open its first Oxnard bakery-café on Saturday, November 3, co-owned by former USC All-American and NFL football star, and current ESPN broadcaster Keyshawn Johnson. The newest bakery-café is located at The Collection at RiverPark, 2720 Portico Way in Oxnard, CA.

With its identity rooted in handcrafted, freshly-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 variety of year-round favorites to complement seasonal items and breads baked fresh daily in each bakery-cafe by skilled bakers. The new bakery-cafe offers a warm and welcoming environment including intimate seating areas, comfortable chairs, a community table and free WiFi Internet access.

“Adding Oxnard to our family of Panera Bread locations is a great accomplishment for us,” said Keyshawn Johnson, Chief Executive Officer, First Picks Management a Panera Bread Area Developer and franchisee. “We felt the city was a natural fit for Panera Bread’s casual and family-friendly environment. My partners and I are excited to have this location become the city’s new gathering place for people to enjoy their delicious meals with their friends and family.”

Johnson, who recruited fellow NFL teammates, an NBA player and some USC Alumni along the way to strengthen his bench and further propel the company’s growth, is especially proud to contribute to the economic vitality within the area. A new Panera Bread typically creates 50 to75 new jobs within the communities they serve.

That aspect of the business is especially gratifying to First Picks Member Dennis Northcutt, Former NFL wide receiver. “It’s a team effort. Whether you’re playing in a national league or developing a foundation for good and wholesome food, it’s about the people that bring the energy and enthusiasm that make going to work enjoyable every day.”

Other First Picks investors include: Terence Newman, Warrick Dunn, Eric Allen, Reggie Bush, Anthony Henry, Keith Rivers, Corey Ivy, and Joe Smith. First Picks management team is Clarence Mah, Chief Financial Officer, Glenn Mah, Chief Operations Officer and Ingrid Roberts, Managing Director. The group currently owns franchise rights for the Central Coast and Metro Los Angeles.

To Darren Allen, General Manager of the Ventura area cafés, it’s about the love of ingredients in the Panera Bread kitchen. That passion for the business is present from the food to the table, and recently, on the TV screen as current commercial spokesperson. “When customers think of our bread, words such as ‘fresh’, ‘filling’, and ‘tasty’ come to mind,” explains Allen. “We want to show the good people of Oxnard a day that starts on a good note and ends with the warm comfort that fresh baked bread provides.”

Panera Bread Oxnard is committed to serving the community through its participation in charitable programs. Through the Day End Dough-Nation™ program, unsold bakery products are donated to the FOOD Share Inc. of Oxnard. For its VIP invitation-only opening party on November 2nd, the bakery-cafe will proudly honor The Make-A-Wish Foundation® of the Tri-Counties; Make-A-Wish recipient Daniela Zamora and The Zamora Family and Make-A-Wish Granters Cherie and Leo Maciel.

“The beautiful Wish kids we have had in our lives and the courageous families we have met, have been such an inspiration to us,” said Cherie Maciel, Make-A-Wish Granter and Grand Opening Honoree. “We plan to continue with this wonderful staff of workers, other volunteers, and the many people who have donated items necessary to make some of our wishes come true.”

In partnership with 805 Living and Herzog Wine Cellars, the grand opening event will feature selections of the bakery-café menu paired with Herzog wine. Johnson and a number of his partners will be in attendance for the opening celebration (by invitation only). They are also available for interviews. Regular cafe hours are Monday-Saturday 6 a.m. – 9 p.m. and Sunday 7 a.m. - 9 p.m.

About Panera Bread Company

Panera Bread Company owns and franchises 1,625 bakery-cafes as of September 25, 2012 under the Panera Bread®, Saint Louis Bread Co.®, and Paradise Bakery & Café® names. We feature high quality, reasonably priced food in a warm, inviting, and comfortable environment. With our identity rooted in handcrafted, fresh-baked, artisan bread, we are committed to providing great tasting, quality food that people can trust. Nearly all of our bakery-cafes have a menu highlighted by antibiotic-free chicken, whole grain bread, and select organic and all-natural ingredients, with zero grams of artificial trans fat per serving, which provide flavorful, wholesome offerings. Our 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 United States and in Ontario, Canada, our customers enjoy our warm and welcoming environment featuring comfortable gathering areas, relaxing decor, and free internet access. Our bakery-cafes routinely donate bread and baked goods to community organizations in need. Additional information is available at http://www.panerabread.com.

About First Picks Management

First Picks Management is an area developer and franchisee for Panera Bread in Southern California and on the Central Coast of California. Founded in 2006, First Picks Management is a business development company for the enterprises of professional sports athletes and select high net-worth individuals. The group invests intellectual, human and financial capital into promising businesses for the prudent development and management of enterprises. To date, they have partnered with over a dozen professional sports athletes and business entities to achieve these objectives. They work with start-up entities as well as seasoned brands. www.firstpicksmgmt.com

Contact:

Fleishman-Hillard
Ariana Barile
310.482.4277
http://fleishmanhillard.com/

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