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Coming Soon

Big Rapids welcomes Panera Bread, Aldi

by Published: Apr 3, 2013

Future Locations: Panera will be located in the vacant lot between McDonald’s and Walgreens. Aldi will be located behind the Shell Gas Station near Lowe’s. Photos By: Tori Thomas | Photographer

Future Locations: Panera will be located in the vacant lot between McDonald’s and Walgreens. Aldi will be located behind the Shell Gas Station near Lowe’s. Photos By: Tori Thomas | Photographer

It’s not uncom­mon for Ferris stu­dents to com­plain about the lack of din­ing options avail­able to them in Big Rapids.

“There are some hid­den gems in Big Rapids, but still more options would be nice,” Ferris senior biol­ogy major Justin Cooper said. “I don’t like eat­ing fast food, which seems to be a large major­ity of the food facil­i­ties here. More healthy busi­nesses would be welcomed.”

Cooper and stu­dents who share his feel­ings are in luck. At a town meet­ing on March 26, City Manager Steve Sobers announced plans for Panera Bread to open a loca­tion on State Street, between McDonald’s and Walgreens Pharmacy.

According to the Pioneer, the com­pany has yet to con­firm the devel­op­ment, but Sobers said Panera Bread has been in talks with the city for sev­eral months.

“They have said [Big Rapids] is a num­ber one pri­or­ity place they want to be, but they just need to [final­ize] a spot,” Sobers said.

Cooper was thrilled by the announcement.

“Healthy options are a must, espe­cially with the diets that col­lege stu­dents can have,” he said. “Panera has healthy options avail­able. I’ve seen their menu and eaten there a few times before.”

Established in 1981, Panera Bread is rapidly expand­ing across North America. As of December 2012, the company-owned and franchise-operated bakery-cafes have 1,652 loca­tions in 44 states and Ontario, Canada, accord­ing to the company’s website.

Panera Bread’s menu—which includes made-to-order sand­wiches, sal­ads and soups—is com­pa­ra­ble to Pepper’s Café, located on North Michigan Avenue.

Ferris senior ele­men­tary edu­ca­tion major Morgan Kramerich con­sid­ers her­self a Pepper’s reg­u­lar and plans to con­tinue fre­quent­ing the café even after the new Panera Bread opens. Unfortunately, she doesn’t believe other stu­dents will do the same.

“I think a lot of peo­ple will go to Panera. But for me, I’ll go to Pepper’s just because it won’t be so crowded,” Kramerich said. “I think it will be tough for Pepper’s to keep up with Panera.”

Pepper’s Café could not be reached for comment.

In addi­tion to a new restau­rant, Big Rapids will be wel­com­ing a new gro­cery store. At the March 26 town meet­ing, Big Rapids Township Supervisor Bill Stanek announced that Aldi con­struc­tion is expected to begin within the next cou­ple of weeks.

The 16,000-square-foot gro­cery store will be located on the lot between Lowe’s and the Shell Food Mart gas sta­tion on 215th Avenue.

According to the Pioneer, this will be the first devel­op­ment in the Perry Avenue busi­ness dis­trict in five years.

“I think that bring­ing more busi­nesses over­all to Big Rapids is good,” Cooper said. “We don’t have many options, and it seems to get monot­o­nous at the end of the day, for some. [Students] will like the change and more ‘mod­ern­iza­tion’ of Big Rapids.”

 
 
  • http://odtobe.thecomicseries.com Guelettis

    Let me get this straight…

    There were 2 alleged assaults on cam­pus on the 20th/21st, but the main head­line of The Torch this week is the upcom­ing Panera Bread and ALDI? Yikes. Those are some messed up priorities…

    Even if The Torch did not want to cover these spe­cific alleged assaults, why didn’t The Torch choose to do arti­cles on assaults/rapes/other crimes on col­lege cam­puses in general?

    I know the alleged assaults were a while ago (and one sus­pect was even lodged in the county jail), but that seems like some­thing that deserves more than a news brief…

    • Alex Wittman, News Editor

      Thanks for your input. The Torch appre­ci­ates reader input and val­ues your opin­ion. In response to your com­ment, I per­son­ally spoke with Captain Cook about the alleged assault, and after con­sult­ing the Editor-In-Chief, I decided that the best way to present the infor­ma­tion was in “On the Record.” Following the October attempted sex­ual assault, the Torch ran a col­umn about assaults on col­lege cam­puses. Feel free to look it up in the archives, if you’re inter­ested. Thank you again for your input.

    • Alex Wittman, News Editor

      Thanks for your input. The Torch appre­ci­ates reader input and val­ues your opin­ion. In response to your com­ment, I per­son­ally spoke with Captain Cook about the alleged assault, and after con­sult­ing the Editor-In-Chief, I decided that the best way to present the infor­ma­tion was in “On the Record.” Following the October attempted sex­ual assault, the Torch ran a col­umn about assaults on col­lege cam­puses. Feel free to look it up in the archives, if you’re inter­ested. Thank you again for your input.

    • Alex Wittman, News Editor

      Thanks for your input. The Torch appre­ci­ates reader input and val­ues your opin­ion. In response to your com­ment, I per­son­ally spoke with Captain Cook about the alleged assault, and after con­sult­ing the Editor-In-Chief, I decided that the best way to present the infor­ma­tion was in “On the Record.” Following the October attempted sex­ual assault, the Torch ran a col­umn about assaults on col­lege cam­puses. Feel free to look it up in the archives, if you’re inter­ested. Thank you again for your input.

    • Alex Wittman, News Editor

      Thanks for your input. The Torch appre­ci­ates reader input and val­ues your opin­ion. In response to your com­ment, I per­son­ally spoke with Captain Cook about the alleged assault, and after con­sult­ing the Editor-In-Chief, I decided that the best way to present the infor­ma­tion was in “On the Record.” Following the October attempted sex­ual assault, the Torch ran a col­umn about assaults on col­lege cam­puses. Feel free to look it up in the archives, if you’re inter­ested. Thank you again for your input.

    • Alex Wittman, News Editor

      Thanks for your input. The Torch appre­ci­ates reader input and val­ues your opin­ion. In response to your com­ment, I per­son­ally spoke with Captain Cook about the alleged assault, and after con­sult­ing the Editor-In-Chief, I decided that the best way to present the infor­ma­tion was in “On the Record.” Following the October attempted sex­ual assault, the Torch ran a col­umn about assaults on col­lege cam­puses. Feel free to look it up in the archives, if you’re inter­ested. Thank you again for your input.

      • Guelettis

        Hello Alex,

        I’ve sub­mit­ted a let­ter to the edi­tor with a bit more of my con­cerns with this issue. Yes, I am famil­iar with the col­umn you wrote in October. Unfortunately, this col­umn was really more a tes­ta­ment of “It could have been me” than pre­vent­ing assault or prob­lems on the cam­pus. It was also a lit­tle on the vic­tim blam­ing side. I doubt that was your inten­tion, but the con­tent was there.

        Thank you for attempt­ing to inter­act with the readership.

        • Allgaib

          There’s been quite a few events this school year either on cam­pus or nearby that held self defense classes and meet­ings to talk about this very thing. I think it’s much more effec­tive to hold events like that instead of just men­tion­ing it in the news­pa­per. They’ve already cov­ered the topic dur­ing this school year– now it’s time for other out­lets to help spread the word. It’s not solely the Torch’s respon­si­bil­ity to tackle the issue of cam­pus assaults.

        • Allgaib

          There’s been quite a few events this school year either on cam­pus or nearby that held self defense classes and meet­ings to talk about this very thing. I think it’s much more effec­tive to hold events like that instead of just men­tion­ing it in the news­pa­per. They’ve already cov­ered the topic dur­ing this school year– now it’s time for other out­lets to help spread the word. It’s not solely the Torch’s respon­si­bil­ity to tackle the issue of cam­pus assaults.

        • Allgaib

          There’s been quite a few events this school year either on cam­pus or nearby that held self defense classes and meet­ings to talk about this very thing. I think it’s much more effec­tive to hold events like that instead of just men­tion­ing it in the news­pa­per. They’ve already cov­ered the topic dur­ing this school year– now it’s time for other out­lets to help spread the word. It’s not solely the Torch’s respon­si­bil­ity to tackle the issue of cam­pus assaults.

        • Allgaib

          There’s been quite a few events this school year either on cam­pus or nearby that held self defense classes and meet­ings to talk about this very thing. I think it’s much more effec­tive to hold events like that instead of just men­tion­ing it in the news­pa­per. They’ve already cov­ered the topic dur­ing this school year– now it’s time for other out­lets to help spread the word. It’s not solely the Torch’s respon­si­bil­ity to tackle the issue of cam­pus assaults.

          • Guelettis

            I very much agree. A demon­stra­tion or talk of pre­ven­tion is always bet­ter than words. I’m happy to hear that oth­ers are tak­ing ini­tia­tive on the campus.

            My issue is really more with the com­plete lack of pri­or­i­ties with sub­ject mat­ter. I some­how doubt that the poten­tial open­ing of a new store/restaurant is lit­er­ally the most rel­e­vant thing to the students.

            It would be nice to see The Torch take on some big­ger issues…