Panera Bread Takes Majority Stake in Tatte Bakery & Café
Panera Bread Company, your soup-in-a-breadbowl guilty pleasure and occasional roadtrip regret, has bought a majority stake in an independent, local café chain.
Tatte Bakery & Café owner Tzurit Or says the investment creates a partnership between the two companies, and will enable further expansion of her 8-year-old brand.
“[Panera is] The partner that will allow us to grow the right way, our way, the Tatte way and to be able to bring Tatte to as many people possible,” she wrote in an email.
Or, a self-taught pastry chef, began selling her pastries at farmers’ markets in 2007, before opening the first Tatte in Brookline in 2008. (That location is closed through February for renovations). She has since expanded to three more cafés in Cambridge and a fifth in Beacon Hill.
The airy, rustic shops offer tarts, cookies, cakes, and pastries, plus breakfast, lunch, and brunch menus featuring, among the classics, the Israeli-born baker’s recipes for shakshuka, grilled halloumi, and lamb meatballs. It also offers catering and retail bakery sales.
Today, Panera executives announced they took a 50.01 percent stake in Tatte at the end of last year, with options to up that in the future. Tatte remains an independent company owned by Or, she says, but it gives her “access to select Panera resources to support our growth.”
From Panera’s perspective, the brand appeals to high-end customers, CFO Michael J. Bufano told Nation’s Restaurant News. “We view Tatte as a wonderful brand with significant growth potential in residential-urban and upscale suburban markets.”
Or was unavailable this afternoon to answer questions about what the future of the Tatte brand might look like, but she said she has been looking for “many years to find the right partner for Tatte.”
“I am extremely honored and excited by this partnership and by the welcome and support I’ve received from Panera founder and CEO Ron Shaich and his entire leadership. I am honored to be part of this amazing talented and supportive team of people,” she wrote.
Tatte Bakery & Café, 1003 Beacon St., Brookline, 617-232-2200; 318 Third St., Cambridge, 617-354-4200; 205 Broadway St., Cambridge, 617-494-8700; 101 Main St., Cambridge, 617-577-1111; 70 Charles St., Boston, 617-723-5555; or tattebakery.com.