Panera vs. Bread Co.


St. Louis does not own Panera

I would like to personally tell every St. Louisan who calls the restaurant “Bread Co.” that it is not your fault.

You were raised this way. I get it, but it’s time to face the facts. The restaurant we all know and love? It’s Panera. Just Panera.

I could go into the facts of the Panera expansion–how it started as a small bakery and expanded into a nationwide corporation–but here’s the thing, the Panera website does that for me. It can tell you all about how Panera bought St. Louis Bread Company (your beloved “Bread Co.”).  

“Saint Louis Bread Company was renamed Panera to position it for national growth,” said the PANERA website.

Straight from the source. Now, folks, we need and–more importantly–we deserve continuity. When I walk into a Panera in St. Louis, I see “St. Louis Bread Company” on the sign which makes no sense as to why I then pull out my “My Panera” card and see advertisements for Panera on all the windows.

I’m just confused. If the company was going to stick with ‘Bread Co.,’ why would they not change the endorsements?

It would make so much more sense for all Paneras to simply be called “Panera,” or for each city to have their own ‘Bread Co.’ for example, “Chicago Bread Co.” and “New York Bread Co.” I would even settle for every city to have a “St. Louis Bread Company,” but for the city of St. Louis to send such mixed messages seems ridiculous.

When someone asks me to go to ‘Bread Co.’, it sounds like she is just trying to be boujee. It’s time for those of us from outside the city–those who know the truth–to start calling it like it is.

I’m sorry, but no, we don’t want to go to ‘Bread Co.’ We want to eat at Panera.


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