First Panera Bread to open in Canada

by Eric Schroeder
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TORONTO — Millennium Bread, Inc. announced it will open Canada’s first Panera Bread bakery-cafe on Oct. 6 in Richmond Hill, Ont. Millennium is a Panera franchisee owned by Craig Milne.

"When we embarked on the journey to bring Panera Bread to Canada, we made a commitment to ourselves that we would do things right and provide that unique fit with Canadian lifestyles and sensibilities," Mr. Milne said. "Our team is passionate about providing Toronto with real food rooted in handcrafted, fresh-baked artisan bread, engaging with our guests and the community, and welcoming everyone to our warm and inviting environment."

The new bakery-cafe at Richmond Hill is the first of three planned to open by early 2009. The other bakery-cafes will be located in Mississauga and in Thornhill.

"What originally impressed me about Panera was the freshness and quality of the breads and food," Mr. Milne said. "As I’ve really gotten to know the concept over the last 12 months, I have become ever more impressed and increasingly convinced that Panera offers a fresh option to the Canadian consumer which I think is unlike anything they have experienced."

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