Fresh out of the oven: new Panera

By Melanie Erspamer
Published: November 2010

Taking the place of an expensive clothing store, a new Panera Bread opened at 1241 Center Street on November 2.
The location is a busy area of Newton, making it an ideal spot for a restaurant business.
“We had that spot in mind a long time ago, Mary Pat Joseph, one of Panera’s managers, said. “The community wanted us. Being in touch with Newton realtors helped as well; it was not difficult for Panera to seize the handy space.
“I am so excited that Panera has come to Newton Center, freshman Sophie Cash said. “There are a bunch of fast food places that I hate, so I’m very happy that a friendly, nice, warm place is coming in- and with good food.
“We all love the Newton community and being in the center of the town, “ Joseph said.
The new restaurant is turning out to be a valuable asset to the Newton community. There are, however, some who are opposed, like freshman Maddy Meyer.
“I think that Panera Bread is not a good [addition] because it will steal all the business from small businesses like Pie and Sandwich Works, she said.
Pie manager Elli Kaplansky, however, dismisses the idea of competition.
“You can’t compare the two, she said. The difference, as she sees it, is that Panera is a chain, whereas Pie is just a standalone business with higher-quality ingredients.
Other stores see Panera as a way to attract customers. Clothing store 344, located right next door to Panera, is one such example.
“I see people coming in with Panera cups, South graduate and 344 employee Lexi Berman said.
She expects Panera’s opening to benefit the clothing store.

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