is celebrating 10 years of fighting breast cancer by baking bagels. This October, the signature Pink Ribbon Bagel will be sold at all of Panera Bread’s approximately 1,500 bakery-cafes, with a portion of the proceeds from each bagel sold going to a variety of breast cancer causes throughout the country.
A staple each October in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, donations from the sale of the Pink Ribbon Bagel have now raised more than $1 million for breast cancer charities and Panera Bread and its franchisees hope to make 2011 the largest year for donations ever.
“The Pink Ribbon Bagel is a customer favorite, in part because it’s a delicious way to start the day and because each bagel sold helps bring us one step closer to finding a cure for breast cancer,” said Mitch Roberts, operating partner of PR Restaurants, LLC, a Panera Bread franchisee. “Panera Bread is proud to work with the communities we serve to help raise money for such a worthy cause. In our market, we are fortunate to be able to support a number of valuable institutions with the funds we raise, ensuring that people across the Northeast benefit from this effort.”
In Greater Boston, proceeds from Pink Ribbon Bagel will benefit the Center for Young Women’s Health at Children’s Hospital Boston, South Shore Hospital, and the UMass Memorial Comprehensive Breast Center. Please check with your local bakery-café for information on specific donation partners.
Shaped in the form of the iconic pink ribbon, Pink Ribbon Bagels feature cherry chips, dried cherries and cranberries, vanilla, honey, and brown sugar, and are baked fresh early each morning by Panera’s bakers at each bakery-cafe. For each bagel sold, at least 10 cents will be donated to support breast cancer awareness and research. Nearly two million Pink Ribbon Bagels were sold in 2010, raising more than $75,000 for charity.
The Pink Ribbon Bagel concept began in 2001 when Sue Stees, co-owner of 18 Panera Bread franchises and a breast cancer survivor, began searching for ways to help other women fighting the same disease. Her search led her to the kitchen where she developed the Pink Ribbon Bagel. She sold 27,000 bagels in her bakery-cafes that first year and was awarded the “You Can Make a Difference Award” from Susan G. Komen for the Cure. To date, more than seven million Pink Ribbon Bagels have been sold.
“Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine this simple bagel concept – created in my Tulsa bakery-cafe – would grow to where it is today, educating the community on breast cancer and inspiring those who are fighting this disease,” Stees said. “I’m extremely blessed to have survived to see the Pink Ribbon Bagel make such an impact over the last 10 years.”