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Panera breaks bread in Idaho Falls during grand opening

Business & Money

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IDAHO FALLS — Panera Bread, a national chain of bakery-cafes, has officially opened its second location in east Idaho.

Taking the place of the vacant CD World building at 2820 Hitt Road in Idaho Falls, Panera Bread offers an assortment of pastries, soups, breads and sandwiches.

The store is open between 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and on Sunday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. The have hired about 70 employees.

The Idaho Falls restaurant is the fourth in the Gem State — one opened in Chubbuck in February — but the Idaho Falls location offers services other Idaho Panera Bread outlets don’t.

“There’s a multitude of ways customers can order food,” Panera Bread District Manager Matt Atkinson told “We have several kiosks right in front where customers can order right away. They can also use our rapid pick-up – where customers order and pay from our app.”

Photo by Stephan Rockefeller,

Customers can also order in the traditional manner inside the restaurant.

Atkinson said at the end of each day, leftover baked goods are donated to local charities or soup kitchens.

Panera Bread began on the East Coast in 1981 as Au Bon Pain Co. In 1993, Au Bon Pain purchased Saint Louis Bread Company, a chain of 20 bakery-cafes located in the St. Louis area. In 1999, all of Au Bon Pain’s business units were sold except for Panera Bread, and the company was renamed Panera Bread, according to BizMojo Idaho.

Photo by Stephan Rockefeller,
Photo by Stephan Rockefeller,