SCOTTSDALE Ariz. Paradise Bakery & Café, a 46-unit group of varied cafes in which Panera Bread Co. acquired a 51-percent stake last year, has named David Birzon president. The appointment comes as Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Paradise gears up for a planned doubling in size within the next 18 months.
Birzon started with the fast-casual, largely franchised chain as a prep cook. He will take over day-to-day operations from the concept's founder and chief executive Dan Patterson, who will focus on ramping up growth, the company said. Paradise said it plans to add 20 stores by the end of 2007, mostly in Phoenix and Tucson but also in Oregon, Texas and Indiana.
Another 14 to 20 stores, about seven of which will be franchise units, are scheduled to open in 2008.
Currently, 23 of the Paradise outlets are operated by franchisees. The stores include kiosk-style units inside shopping malls, as well as units located in airports. Paradise's website lists five variations in all, each with a slightly different menu.