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Panera Heads for Queens

The bakery chain already has a franchise agreement on Long Island.
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set plans Thursday to expand into the New York City borough of Queens with an existing franchisee.

The Richmond Heights, Mo., cafe chain said it and Doherty Breads LLC would open as many as 11 Panera Bread outlets in Queens. Doherty already has a deal with Panera to open as many as 20 outlets on suburban Long Island.

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"Doherty Breads has demonstrated a strong commitment to establishing Panera Bread as a leader in their market," said Panera's Mike Kupstas. "By implementing the highest standards and levels of execution and operations, they have demonstrated their ability to succeed in the marketplace. We are excited to pursue new opportunities with this new agreement."

Late Thursday, Panera shares rose 89 cents to $53.61.