Panera vs. Bread Co.


Respect the culture

I can still remember the moment I found out St. Louis Bread Company went by another name. I was visiting my family in Washington DC, around the age of seven. My hungry cousins and I were discussing where to eat, when my aunt suggested ‘Panera’. Excited at the prospect of trying something new, I quickly agreed.

My excitement quickly turned to confusion as we pulled up to what I knew as a St. Louis Bread Company. To this day, I can still remember my aunt’s laughter as I tried to explain to her that she was calling the restaurant by the wrong name.

Whether from being scarred by that incident, or staying true to my roots, I am still fully confident that the restaurant we St. Louisans know and love should be referred to as its true name–St. Louis Bread Company–or, for short, ‘Bread Co.’

When I hear someone say Panera, I automatically assume one of two things: that they are a tourist visiting the city for the first time, or that they simply hate St. Louis. Is that really the image you Panera-ians want to be putting out for yourself?

Bread Co. is the OG name–having been around since 1987. If you truly loved the restaurant, you would refer to it as its original name. It is a staple of St. Louis culture and is a proud part of our history. Plus, ‘Panera’ is an ugly word.

When you pull up to a Bread Co. for a bowl of delicious broccoli cheddar soup, the sign very clearly says ‘St. Louis Bread Company,’ not ‘Panera’. You should respect the name and the culture by referring to it as such.


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