The Panera Bread Foundation opened its second non-profit community cafe — called Panera Cares — today in Dearborn, MI, and shared plans to open a third in Portland, OR, in early 2011. This expansion is the result of the concept’s success in Clayton, MO, where the first non-profit community cafe — called Saint Louis Bread Co. Cares — opened in May.
Panera Cares is a new kind of cafe — one that exemplifies an entirely different way of giving back. It is a community cafe of shared responsibility. One of the goals of this charitable program is to ensure that everyone who needs a meal gets one. People are encouraged to take what they need and donate their fair share. There are no prices or cash registers, only suggested donation levels and donation bins.
“The vision for the Panera Cares Cafe was to use Panera’s unique restaurant skills to address real societal needs and make a direct impact in communities,” explained Ron Shaich, Panera Bread’s co-founder and Executive Chairman, and President of the Panera Bread Foundation. “Thus, the Foundation developed these community cafes to make a difference by addressing the food insecurity issues that affect millions of Americans.”
“At the end of the day,” Shaich said, “this community cafe isn’t about offering a hand out. It’s about offering a hand up to those who need it.”
Dearborn Panera Cares Cafe to Address Real Community Need
Dearborn, a Detroit suburb, was selected as the location of the second Panera Cares Cafe based on a diverse population of individuals who can sustain the cafe as well as individuals who may need a hand up.
“Given the economic challenges in the Greater Detroit area, opening a Panera Cares Cafe in this area was a natural choice,” said Shaich. “These cafes exist to make a difference by offering the Panera experience with dignity to all — those who can afford it, those who need a hand up, and everyone in between. We anticipate that Panera Cares will have a tremendous impact on the Dearborn community.”
Third Location Planned in Greater Portland
A third Panera Cares Cafe is expected to open in Greater Portland in January 2011. Like other Panera Cares Cafe locations, the Hollywood-area cafe is easily accessible via public transportation and attracts an eclectic mix of customers, exuding a genuine neighborhood vibe.
About Panera Cares Cafes
Panera Cares is a program run by the Panera Bread Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. The Panera Cares Cafe menu is consistent with the traditional Panera Bread menu, however people are encouraged to take what they need and donate their fair share. There are no prices or cash registers, only suggested donation levels and donation bins.
At the end of the day, this cafe isn’t about offering a hand out. It’s about offering a hand up to those who need it. The cafes also offer the option of volunteering an hour of time in exchange for a meal. The Panera Cares Cafe model is designed to be self-sustaining with support from the community.
About the Panera Bread Foundation
Panera Bread Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. The Foundation accepts contributions through cash donations received in donation boxes located in Panera Bread bakery-cafes located throughout the United States, as well as in connection with its community cafe(s) operating under the name Panera Cares. The community cafes provide high quality food in a warm, inviting and comfortable environment. Panera Cares Cafes exist to make a difference by offering the Panera Bread experience with dignity to all — those who can afford it, those who need a hand up, and everyone in between.