Food - Drink
The Original Name Of Panera Bread
Most fast food consumers in America are familiar with Panera Bread, which, as the 23rd largest fast food chain in the U.S. in 2021, has over 2,100 locations in the U.S. and Canada. While Panera Bread may be a familiar name, there is one place where the name is less known — St. Louis, where it was founded.
The company first opened in 1987 as the St. Louis Bread Company and became a popular local chain. In 1993, it was purchased by Au Bon Pain and, in order to make the brand more marketable to a national audience, they came up with the name "Panera," which means "bread basket" in Latin.
Although Bread Co. and Panera have the same logo and menu, the brand has a separate, unique Facebook page for "St. Louis Bread Co." and packaging. However, in September 2022, Bread Co. stores in the St. Louis metro area changed the store's branding and signage to Panera, per Spectrum Local News.
Residents in St. Louis’ surrounding counties were upset with the change, but the brand said there won’t be a total overhaul. Stores in St. Louis County and the city of St. Louis proper kept the original Bread Co. name, and, as of November 2022, 67 Missouri locations listed on Panera's website sport the original moniker.