Local Business| Christina Cosdon

Panera Bread franchise finds sizable home at Largo Mall

LARGO — Panera Bread has come to Largo Mall.

Laura Breyer is general manager of the 5,200-square-foot bakery-cafe that opened April 2. She was previously assistant manager at the Feather Sound Panera Bread.

The new business has 52 employees and seating for 142 customers. In addition to the usual variety of specialty breads, pastries and bagels made daily, the menu includes made-to- order sandwiches and salads and soups.

Business hours are 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.

Established in 1981 as Au Bon Pain Co., the name was changed to Panera Bread in the 1990s after the company purchased a chain of 20 bakery-cafes in the St. Louis area. Some of the 1,600 bakery-cafes now in 40 states are company-owned, but most are franchised.

The Largo Mall business is a franchise.

Pasco auto dealer expands to Pinellas

Gulfview Motors, an independent dealer of preowned vehicles in Pasco County since 1985, has expanded to Pinellas County and opened at 41041 U.S. 19 N in Tarpon Springs. The new business offers a full range of preowned cars, trucks and SUVs, including domestic and import models. It also has a 3,000-square-foot showroom and complete on-site service and detail departments.

The dealership has 250 late-model used cars with prices ranging from $5,000 to $50,000.

Leon Kreisler owns both dealerships, as well as Hernando Auto World Mitsubishi and Hernando Suzuki.

Old Harbor Bank promotes 2 officers

Jeffrey A. Hackett has been promoted to senior vice president, senior credit officer, and Jason Delk has been promoted to senior vice president, commercial lending group manager. Both work at the Old Harbor Bank's corporate headquarters at 2605 Enterprise Road E in Clearwater.

Hackett has more than 25 years' banking experience and most recently was senior vice president, commercial lending manager. Before joining Old Harbor, he was executive vice president and senior lender at Mercantile Bank. He is a graduate of Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind.

Delk has more than 10 years' banking experience and most recently was vice president, credit officer. Before joining Old Harbor, he was vice president, private banking, with SouthTrust in Tampa.

Kudos

Open Air Florist at 607 N Myrtle Ave., Clearwater, has been recognized by Teleflora as a Top 2000 florist for 2007. Teleflora has about 25,000 member florists throughout the United States and Canada. This award recognizes the business as being in the top 1 percent of all U.S. florist shops sending orders through Teleflora.

Open Air Florist, owned by Ruth Goodwin, has been in business for 35 years.

• • •

S&S Electric at 105 Douglas Road E, Oldsmar, has received a Builder Home of the Year award from the Consumer Electronics Association's TechHome Division for its work in M/I Homes' Bordeaux IV Model in Easton Park in Hillsborough County.

The award was among TechHome Division's 2008 Mark of Excellence Awards presented last month in Orlando. The awards honor industry leaders in custom electronics products, services and installations in the categories of supplier, training and support programs and system integrators. S&S was recognized in the system integrators category.

S&S Electric is a third-generation family-owned and -operated electrical and electronic system contracting company.

• • •

Arthur Air Conditioning, at 801 Stevens Ave., Oldsmar, is celebrating its 20th year in business. The company has grown from a two-man operation in Clearwater in 1988 to a 4,000-square-foot facility with 22 employees and 11 vehicles.

Randy Arthur is president and owner of the firm. In 2001, it expanded and moved from Clearwater to Oldsmar.

Business seminars, classes, assistance

• A free seminar on "Ten Steps to Starting a Small Business" will be presented at 7 p.m. April 29 by members of the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) at the Tarpon Springs Library, 138 E Lemon St. Materials and handouts will be provided. Registration is required and can be made by calling the library at (727) 943-4922.

News of businesses and business people can be faxed to the Business Digest at 445-4119, e-mailed to cosdon@sptimes.com or mailed to Business Digest, 710 Court St., Clearwater, FL 33756. We are interested in new and unusual businesses, promotions, expansions, commercial sales and major new contracts. Photos can be mailed or e-mailed by jpeg file.

Panera Bread franchise finds sizable home at Largo Mall 04/17/08 [Last modified: Thursday, April 17, 2008 10:31pm]

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