Tag Archives: Panera Bread

A Semi-Shoutout For Starbucks

Recently, Starbucks moved across the Post Road. It exchanged comfy, friendly digs with limited parking near the diner for cold, unfriendly digs with equally limited parking — but a drive-thru! — near Bank of America.

Fairly quickly, customers noticed that the coffee chain with the green logo was anything but environmentally green. The outside was a mess — though that’s been cleaned up a bit.

starbucks-garbage

The new Starbucks, a few days after opening.

Meanwhile, inside there was no way for customers to separate paper and plastic goods from everything else.

Robie Spector had spent years trying to get managers at the previous Starbucks location to recycle. Facing defensiveness and obfuscation, she stopped going there.

Robie gave the new place a try. She was distressed to see no recycling.

She tried again. Again, she got the same lack of answers and “a dash of odd vibe.”

She contacted Starbucks corporate. A district manager called back, blaming the landlord.

Robie contacted the first selectman’s office, who told her to call Public Works. They had good news: State law mandates that businesses recycle.

However, there are no inspectors. So companies do what they want, unchecked.

As they chatted, Robie and Scott Sullivan of Public Works realized that Panera by Home Goods does a great job of recycling. Robie set up a meeting with Sharon, the general manager, who was quite helpful. She emboldened Robie to keep pressing Starbucks’ district manager.

She did. Finally, Robie says, Starbucks is recycling.

starbucks-recycle

At least, it seems that way. Of course, it could all end up in the same place out back. (Thankfully though, that trash has been cleaned up.)

As Thomas Jefferson sort of said, eternal vigilance is the price of a grande iced sugar-free vanilla latte with soy milk.

Panera Bread Rises In Westport

From one end of the Post Road to the other, Panera Bread has Westport covered.

The St. Louis-based quick, casual, breakfast/soup/salad/panini and free WiFi chain already has a 4-year-old outlet on the Norwalk line, just past Whole Foods.

Its newest location — the company’s 1674th — opened this morning on the Southport border. It’s in the shopping center across from Shake Shack.

The newest Panera bread, between Walgreens and HomeGoods.

The newest Panera bread, between Walgreens and HomeGoods.

It was a soft opening — no big announcement, not even balloons out front — but a  few dozen customers wandered in by noon. They found plenty of space — with an all-season patio, it’s 300 square feet larger than the Norwalk store — and a welcoming atmosphere.

Monica Gallegos, a marketing trainer for Panera Bread, was on hand to tout the brand. Her favorite menu items are a cinnamon roll for breakfast, and a soba noodle salad with shrimp for lunch.

The district manager — with the perfect bread name of Bryan Baker — says that each night, all unused products are donated to local non-profits and food banks.

(Panera Bread is open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.)

On opening day, laptops were already in use, and coffee was being poured.

On opening day, laptops were already in use.