Pixel Tracker

Thursday, February 21 , 2019, 6:18 am | Mostly Cloudy 43º


NFL’s Keyshawn Johnson Opens Santa Barbara’s First Panera Bread Bakery-Café

State Street eatery, in La Cumbre Plaza, will celebrate its grand opening on Saturday

Former NFL wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson is opening the first Panera Bread in Santa Barbara.

Panera Bread is a popular bakery-café chain that serves freshly baked breads, bagels, pastries, sandwiches, soups and salads. The Santa Barbara location, at 3851 State St. in La Cumbre Plaza, will celebrate its grand opening Saturday.

“Panera Bread is a brand that fits so well with the California lifestyle,” said Johnson, CEO of First Picks Management. “Good food, great ingredients, exceptional customer service in a relaxed atmosphere. You can’t get more ‘California’ than that.”

Johnson, a current ESPN analyst, founded his business development company as a means to pursue his business interests in the food service, hotel and real estate industries. The Panera Bread franchisee and area developer has partnered with more than a dozen athletes since the company’s 2006 inception, including former NFL wide receiver Dennis Northcutt.

“Investing in Panera Bread is not only a solid investment for me, it’s also something I can be proud of,” said Northcutt, adding that the store will add 50 to 75 jobs. “We create new jobs and opportunities from the start of construction all the way to the opening of the doors.”

Panera Bread will donate unsold bakery products to the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County through the Day End Dough-Nation program and supports the Make-A-Wish Foundation through the Community Breadbox initiative.

The bakery-café will also hold a silent auction to benefit the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation, formerly the Santa Barbara Breast Cancer Institute, at its invitation-only event Friday.

“The support we have received from Panera Bread has been invaluable in helping raise money for our cause,” Love said, “and we are pleased they selected us to be the beneficiary of cookie sales for its first week of opening.”

Chipotle will move in next to Panera Bread this spring at the former Baja Fresh location, and Backyard Bowls opened its La Cumbre location last October.

Saturday’s grand opening event of Panera Bread will feature selections of the bakery-café menu paired with Bridlewood wine. It will open at 6 a.m. this Saturday, and regular hours are 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.

Noozhawk business writer Alex Kacik can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Talk to Us!

Please take Noozhawk's audience survey to help us understand what you expect — and want — from us. It'll take you just a few minutes. Thank you!

Get Started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >

Meet Your Realtor Sponsored by Village Properties

Photo of Patricia Griffin
Patricia Griffin
"I am very hands on and feel that each transaction is special and different. My clients goals are foremost in what I do to bring about a successful transaction and I maintain relationships for many years."

Full Profile >