Panera Bread Puts Down Roots—On State St. and in the Community

Posted on May 23 by SEASONS Magazine

That enticing aroma floating up State St. isn’t just your imagination—Panera Bread has entered the downtown Santa Barbara scene, bringing warm loaves, tasty meals and philanthropy to the thoroughfare.

The State Street location (sister location to the La Cumbre Plaza restaurant) is the newest Central Coast branch of the well-loved café-style restaurant, offering fresh (and addicting) pastries and loaves as well as salads, soups, sandwiches, breakfast items and recently added pastas (check out the menu here)! Their downtown location on the corner of Ortega offers a lovely patio and a great remodel of the space.

Panera Bread isn’t just coming into town, either; they’re thoroughly planting roots in our community. Panera is partnering with Foodbank of Santa Barbara County and the Grow Your Own Way program, hoping to encourage local schools, institutions and people to grow their own produce as much as possible, feeding themselves and their neighbors in a local, community-centric and sustainable way.

Recently, Panera Bread and Foodbank hosted a seed-planting ceremony at Isla Vista Elementary, with Panera Bread franchisee and First Picks Management‘s Keyshawn Johnson (of former NFL fame) awarding a check for $3000 to help maintain the newly growing seedlings. (Check out our full story here.)

We’re very happy to welcome Panera Bread to the neighborhood and are so excited about what their partnership with Foodbank will mean to our community and the “living local” movement. Keep an eye out for more events with these two philanthropic organizations, and munch on a strawberry poppyseed and chicken salad in the meantime.

For more information on the Grow Your Own Way program, contact Oscar Carmona at

-Taylor Micaela Davis



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