Panera Bread has reportedly acquired the locally grown Tatte Bakery & Cafe, according to a tweet from Ron Ruggless of Nation's Restaurant News. The national soup and sandwich chain now apparently holds a majority stake in Tatte, which started in 2007 as the work of pastry chef Tzurit Or and has five locations in the Boston area. Tatte's Brookline location is currently closed for renovations.
Panera now owns just over 50 percent of Tatte, which will continue to be run independently, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Massachusetts state filings indicate a merger occurred in the fourth quarter of 2015, and the "surviving" company, Tatte Holdings, LLC, is incorporated in Delaware. Panera Bread is a Missouri-based company with 1,972 restaurants (as of December 29, 2015). The company has been revising its business strategy and rolling out modifications as part of the "Panera 2.0" initiative, which will reportedly harness technology (think ordering kiosks) to improve Panera's eat-in, take-out, and delivery options.
It is not clear yet whether any changes will occur at Tatte, but Eater has reached out to Or for further details on this merger and will provide relevant updates as they are available.
UPDATE, 4 p.m.:
Panera has provided the following statement:
Panera Bread has made an investment in Tatte Bakery & Cafe, a five-unit, upscale bakery-café concept offering breakfast and lunch in Boston, Cambridge and Brookline, Massachusetts. Tatte appeals to high-end consumers with its artisanal pastries, homemade breads, salads and sandwiches. We believe that this bakery-cafe concept has unique growth potential in markets that are complementary to Panera and want to help support that growth. Tatte will continue to operate as an independent company under its founder’s leadership, with access to select Panera resources.
UPDATE, 6:30 p.m.: Tzurit Or provided the following statement:
I am excited to share with you that Panera Bread Company made an investment in Tatte Bakery & Cafe. We are partners now. We will continue to operate as an independent company, with access to select Panera resources to support our growth. It took me many years to find the right partner for Tatte, for us. 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. 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.