PSST! - They Knead It, We Want It!

Panera Bread makes more than a dozen types of artisan bread. The Palm Springs restaurant/store (shown here) opened in March at Gene Autry Trail and Ramon Road; the La Quinta location on Highway 111 just east of Adams Street opened a year ago.


To Herbert Hoover’s “a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage,” add “a loaf of bread in every arm” — Panera Bread’s registered mission statement.

The Missouri-based company has opened a Palm Springs location, its second in the desert (the first was La Quinta).

What sets Panera apart is the combination of an artisan bakery and restaurant — and the transparency that is missing from most chain operations. Check out Panera’s Web site ( and discover not only the characteristics of great handcrafted bread, but also financial data, bios of the company officers, and a list of ingredients and nutritional breakdown of everything on the menu. 

Perhaps you don’t care about the 39 percent ROI, where the CFO went to college, or that a 2-ounce serving of country bread contains 5 grams of protein. But you might be interested in knowing that Panera sells artisan bread as a loaf, baguette, demi, bowl, roll, and miche. Or that they also make bagels, scones, muffins, brownies and cookies, and other baked goods; individual-sized soufflés; sandwiches; salads; soups (five choices every day); and frozen and hot coffee drinks.

The Palm Springs location makes “Dough-Nations” of unsold bread to AIDS Assistance Program, Well in the Desert, and American Cancer Society. The La Quinta location donates unsold bread to Coachella Valley Rescue Mission.

— Janice Kleinschmidt

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