Panera Bread Company announced today an agreement with LA Doughmakers, L.L.C. to open 17 Panera Bread bakery-cafes in central Los Angeles county. This agreement is Panera Bread’s second development agreement in Southern California. LA Doughmakers joins Mariposa Bread, which is led by Richard Adler, Geoff Glazer and Mike Wyss. Mariposa Bread will develop 14 units in northwest Los Angeles county. Both new franchise groups plan to open their first locations in late 2003.
The principals of LA Doughmakers are Phil MacDonald and Scott Levin. MacDonald owns a construction company and develops commercial real estate in Los Angeles. He is a partner in a franchise group that operates 18 Baja Fresh restaurants in Washington DC and Los Angeles county. Levin joins MacDonald as his operating partner, bringing 10 years of experience in multi-unit operations. Levin most recently operated Baja Fresh units in Los Angeles. He has also worked with Einstein Bros. Bagels, Espresso Roma and Peet’s Coffee & Tea.
Ron Shaich, Panera Bread chairman and chief executive officer said, “Signing two strong franchise groups back-to-back is part of our effort to establish a strong presence as we enter Southern California. Phil and Scott have the ideal combination of knowledge of the LA market and experience in specialty food. Their expertise will be a considerable asset as they join Richard, Geoff and Mike in opening our first bakery-cafes in California.”
“We are convinced of the momentum switch to specialty food, and Panera Bread represents the best of that category,” MacDonald said. “We experienced the consumer shift firsthand with Baja Fresh, and we believe that Los Angeles will enthusiastically embrace this wonderful concept as well.”