PROUD PARTNERS: Panera Bread celebrated the opening of its new location at 91st Street and Memorial Drive by donating all opening-day proceeds to the Oklahoma Aquarium. From left are two Oklahoma Aquarium Volunteers, Dory Alison and Sara Hart, Oklahoma Aquarium Executive Director Teri Bowers, Jim Magers, Christine Warfel and Chris Richards.
Courtesy Panera Bread Co.
Locally owned Traditional Bakery, Inc., Panera Bread’s first franchisee, opened a new bakery-cafe on Dec. 24 with the Oklahoma Aquarium as the benefiting partner. Employees and friends of the aquarium were invited to a sneak peek of the newest Panera Bread location the day before the restaurant officially opened. Panera donated 100 percent of the proceeds from those who attended the preview day to the Oklahoma Aquarium to be used for educational programs and exhibits. The proceeds from the day resulted in a $1,019.26 donation.
“The Aquarium is a 501© 3 non-profit, so we rely on charitable donations, such as through the generosity of Panera Bread, to foster appreciation of our plant’s aquatic life, and the vital role each fish, turtle and coral plays in the health of our environment,” says Teri Bowers, executive director of the Oklahoma Aquarium. “We know Panera Bread could have chosen any number of good organizations to be their opening partner. We are delighted and honored to participate.”
Panera Bread chooses a local organization to be their “opening partner” every time a new location is opened. Each partner receives the total sales of a special day to be used for a special activity. Panera Bread is committed to giving back to its local community, and this is just one of the ways in which it does this.
“Having the Oklahoma Aquarium as our opening partner just seemed like a natural fit,” says Dr. Tom Stees, co-owner of Traditional Bakery, Inc. “They are such an integral part of our community. We enjoy giving back to the community in which we live.”
Dr. Tom and Sue Stees of Tulsa and Dr. Stees’ sister, Gaynell Magers, and her husband, Jim, of Springfield, Mo. own the eight Tulsa-area locations, which are a part of the Traditional Bakery, Inc. franchise. They also own 11 other Panera Bread bakery-cafes located in Stillwater, northwest Arkansas and southwest Missouri.
The new 4800-square-foot south Tulsa bakery-cafe is located on the northwest corner of 91st Street and Memorial Drive and features Panera Bread’s latest prototype with different colors, more options for seating, original art work and a three-sided fireplace.
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 includes flavorful, wholesome offerings such as sweet and savory baked goods, warm breakfast soufflés, hand-tossed salads, delicious soups and signature sandwiches.
Panera Bread’s menu includes a wide variety of year-round favorites to complement new items introduced seasonally with the goal of creating new standards in everyday food choices. Panera’s warm and welcoming environment features comfortable gathering areas, relaxing decor and free WiFi Internet access.
Hours at the 91st and Memorial location are Monday – Saturday 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. For more information, contact the store at (918) 250-2230. Orders are accepted by phone or via fax, at (918) 250-0885.
All Panera Bread bakery-cafes are open seven days a week and are located at: 6981 S. Lewis Ave.; 1624 E 15th St.; Woodland Hills Mall; 5601 E. 41st St.’ and 11123 E. 71st St. There are also locations in Broken Arrow at 2201 West Detroit and Owasso at 12417 E. 96th St. North.