Starting today, UMW students are enjoying broccoli and cheddar soup, Fuji apple salad and an appetizing array of baked goods fresh from the oven – without ever leaving campus.
Mary Washington’s long-awaited Panera Bread location on the second floor of the University Center opened this morning, now serving students and other members of the campus community, as well as local residents. The space formerly housed Qdoba and Jamba Juice.
“The opening has been great,” said Rose Benedict, Campus Dining’s marketing coordinator. “The students have been wonderful and patient as our new crew is learning the ropes, and everyone is loving the food.”
The popular eatery has become a staple at colleges and universities across the country, and UMW’s location will feature most of Panera’s standard menu, as well as several new recipes. Items available include breakfast fare, sandwiches, salads, soups, warm grain bowls, bagels, coffee, smoothies and other beverages. A case next to the register displays freshly baked muffins, scones, pastries, cookies and other delectable desserts.
According to Benedict, all ingredients will be 100 percent clean – meaning, no artificial flavors, colors, additives or seasonings. Panera will bake all their breads and pastries daily in the ovens in the UC’s fourth floor bakery, she said.
The Campus Dining team worked throughout winter break to ready the space for service at the start of the spring semester, Benedict said. More than 30 staff members have been hired and trained – many of whom are new to Campus Dining operations – and the location will have new point-of-sale technical systems and equipment.
Serving hours at Panera Bread will be Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays, noon to 6 p.m. Menus and nutritional information can be found on the Campus Dining website.