Panera Bread
Panera Bread

This thriving bakery and cafe chain originally got its start in 1981 as a part of Au Bon Pain before restructuring and rebranding itself as Panera Bread in the 1990s. Now, the purveyor of baked goods on-the-go has over 1,540 "bakery-cafes" in 40 states and Ontario, Canada. Sales are on the rise: $1.5 billion in 2010 to $1.8 billion last year.



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By JP Mangalindan - Last updated May 14 2012: 6:13 PM ET