The Panera Bread Company has announced an agreement with Mark and Monica von Waaden of Austin, Texas, to open 20 Panera Bread bakery-cafes in portions of Harris, Brazoria and Fort Bend Counties in the Houston, Texas, area.

The von Waadens signed the agreement on 10 December 2001 and will operate under the entity name Rolling Dough Ltd.

Chuck and Andria Cain had previously signed an agreement in July 2001 to develop ten units in Northwest Houston. The Cains are scheduled to open their first bakery-cafe in May of this year, and the von Waadens plan to open their first location by January 2003.

Ed Toles joins the von Waadens as their operating partner, bringing 17 years of restaurant development experience. Toles was most recently the President and CEO of Cool River Cafe.

Ron Shaich, Panera Bread chairman and CEO said: “We are very pleased to have Mark, Monica and Ed join the Cain Group in developing the Houston market. The combined strength of these franchise groups provides the experience and resources we need to successfully deliver our concept to consumers.”