Employees at Panera Bread in Owasso recently celebrated the company’s annual Founder’s Day.
The national chain honors its local associates and guests every November as part of the annual initiative that kicks off Thanksgiving week.
The first Founders’ Day was celebrated in 1988 to mark the grand opening of St. Louis Bread Company’s original store in Kirkwood, Missouri. St. Louis Bread Company was the original name of the bakery-café that has evolved into Panera Bread.
The Traditional Bakery, Inc. — the local franchisee of Panera Bread in Owasso, as well as Broken Arrow, Stillwater and metro Tulsa areas — opened the first St. Louis Bread Company site in Tulsa on 51st Street in 1997, and has celebrated Founder’s Day in the region ever since.
Sue Stees, co-owner of TBI, along with other corporate members, visited Panera’s Owasso location off of 96th Street on Monday, Nov. 22, to recognize employees for their outstanding efforts in serving local patrons.
“We have been so blessed to be part of the Tulsa community for the past 24 years,” Stees said, “and we are looking forward to many, many more years and customers served.”
The Owasso café, which opened in Dec. 2001, is approaching its 20th anniversary, and was one of eight Panera locations in the Tulsa area where corporate officials paid a visit to recognize their store teams.