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Home » News » Atlanta Bread in Lee's Summit Loses Lease

Atlanta Bread in Lee's Summit Loses Lease

Atlanta Bread in Lee's Summit Loses Lease


Atlanta Bread Loses Lease
By Tribune Staff

Robert Riekhof, owner of Atlanta Bread Co, wishes to thank everyone for their dedicated support over the years.
Tribune Photo/Fred Poese

    The Atlanta Bread Company, a locally owned franchise, has been notified that their lease will not be renewed. The restaurant located at 1686 NW Chipman Road, in front of Summit Woods Shopping Center, will close on or before January 10, 2010. “The notification was unexpected”, stated owner Robert Riekhof, “I don’t yet know if we will be able to re-open in another location.”

    In an industry known for it’s high turnover rates, Atlanta Bread still employ’s many of it’s original team members after six years. “The dedication of the staff that I have had the honor to work with has been unlike any I have experienced in all of my 20+ years in management. The work ethic is truly indicative of the Lee’s Summit community and the Show-Me state”, said Riekhof.

    Riekhof has been a loyal support to the Lee’s Summit community, always willing to help a cause, donating food and support. In turn that loyalty is returned by his customer base. “As far as our customers go, I cannot say enough. Thank You Lee’s Summit! When you have customers that actually visit the store every single day, you have a unique opportunity in this service business to really create relationships. It’s really like family! I do hope that we will have the opportunity to serve as many of our regular guests as possible before we have to close the doors, “Riekhof continued.

    Atlanta Bread discontinued selling Gift Cards immediately upon notification of the lease cancellation, but there are many outstanding. The “White” Gift cards may only be used
at the Lee’s Summit restaurant within the next few weeks. Any “Green Dough” gift cards may continue to be used at any location nationwide.

   Steve Caffey with Block & Co states that the Altanta Bread closing date is still being finalized and when finalized Panera Bread will take occupancy.

    Vice President of Panera Bread, Eric Cole, states they will take occupancy around January 8 or 10th depending on the finalization. They will be closed for remodeling and are planning a April opening.

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  1. Rosemary James says:
    December 25th, 2009 at 19:38
    I will really miss ABC if they can't re-open in Lee's Summit. What about coming out to New Longview? We could use a nice place like ABC out here.
  2. Susan Coffman says:
    December 26th, 2009 at 00:37
    I hope Atlanta Bread can open somewhere in Downtown Lee's Summit. What a great way to keep visiting one of my favorite places. It would be within walking distance. I hope they can reopen here. They certainly have a loyal customer base as well as loyal employees.
  3. Melanie Deardorff says:
    December 26th, 2009 at 21:28
    I sure to hate to hear this! What a nice place with a great group of employees. I hope ABC can find a spot elsewhere in Lee's Summit -- like Summit Fair or maybe on 291. There's definitely room for another restaurant in Lee's Summit -- particularly one focused on breakfast. I'll be optimistically looking for your follow-up story about ABC's relocation plans.
  4. Susan says:
    December 27th, 2009 at 02:51
    We have been regular customers at Atlanta Bread Company for years. Panera's is okay but doesn't hold a candle to the friendly caring atmosphere we experienced every week especially on Friday nite. We hope Atlanta can relocate in Lee's Summit.
  5. Dawn says:
    December 29th, 2009 at 16:45
    This is not happy news. I love going to ABC. It's not often that you find a place where no job is to big or small for anyone. I often like seeing the owner helping out where ever its needed. Thank you for all you have done! I hope you are able to reopen somewhere in Lee's Summit.
  6. Vickie says:
    December 29th, 2009 at 23:42
    My family will certainly miss having ABC so close to our neighborhood. We have been eating there since they opened their doors. It is such a friendly place where the regular staff recognizes your face when they see you. And the food is different than any other restaurant in Lees Summit. More than any other dish, I will miss their Fritatta! I certainly hope they can find a place in LS to relocate & I'm sure their fan base will follow them.
  7. Lary says:
    December 30th, 2009 at 01:22
    Our family will miss Atlanta Bread Company in a big way; from weekly lunches nearly every Sunday after church to visits thoughout the week. We are hopeful ABC will find a nice location to relocate in Lee's Summit. Their owner and management staff has truly connected with their patrons which simply does not happen in so many restaurants today. We prefer and intentionally look for locally owned establishments first to spend our money. Large corporate chains are not our favorite. You can visit those type of places in nearly every big city, and be exposed to managerial changes on a regular basis.
  8. Michael says:
    December 30th, 2009 at 06:52
    Maybe "big business" like Block and Panera need to be boycotted. Shame when anyone with the right "strings" can displace anyone they wish.. Too much greed and dishonesty.. OH I know.. it's called lobbying these days..
  9. M & R says:
    January 1st, 2010 at 22:05
    When I heard this news I couldn't believe it. This establishment is leaps and bounds above and beyond any other in terms of service and friendliness in the entire city. They are very busy and run a wonderful and successful business. I would personally like to thank the owners and staff for all they have brought to our community through their kindness and community support. They are an exemplary example of how a business should be conducted. My husband and I eat at ABC nearly every day and the staff has become like a second family. They always greet us with a smile, call us by name, and take time to ask about how we are, etc. For the Block company to pull such a stunt is a disgrace to the values that we like to think still live on in middle america. Oh, I'm certain they can lease to the Panera chain for more money, but do these people really think that's all that matters?? Have you ever gone to a Panera? Like most other chains, the staff couldn't care less who you were or what you wanted. Well, both Block and Panera will be in for a surprise because just while I was in ABC I heard several of the regulars and not so regulars discussing that if it turns into a Panera they will not be a patron. And that will include my husband and I as well. For the Block company to just come along and kick out such a LS staple, all for the sake of GREED, they should be totally ashamed of themselves!! I hope others will vote with their lack of patronage as well.
  10. Banen says:
    January 6th, 2010 at 19:41
    What awful news... Atlanta Bread has always been involved in our school district... can't say the same for Panera.
  11. Stacie says:
    January 7th, 2010 at 20:06
    agree, thats terrible. Will definately not be going to Panera! ..hopefully ABC can relocate in LS!
  12. Patrick Cuezze says:
    January 14th, 2010 at 16:01
    This is very sad news. I enjoy Atlanta Bread and it's employees. There were weeks when I had breakfast there every day. Having a 2nd Panera diminishes the diversity of offerings in Lee's Summit :(
    However, Block's actions were entirely rational. Atlanta Bread Company is a smaller (100 stores) chain that has been struggling. The franchisor, as I understand it, already lost one store in the district. The long term ability of ABC to pay rent could reasonably be called into question. Panera, on the other hand, is a profitable corporation (not franchised) with 1300 stores nationwide. They have the ability to pay rent, even when times are tough.
    I don't think it's fair to throw the word "greed" around when a for-profit business makes a decision that is in its financial best interest. In fact, a corporation has a fiduciary obligation to its stockholders to make money. Imagine owning stock in a company and having diminishing stock value and no distributions. Then imagine being told the reason why your 401k fell is that the company decided to lose money in the name of "the community" or "small business".
    If you choose to Boycott Panera, I understand. I'm sad and upset for ABC's franchisor and employees as well. But IMO, it's better for ANY business to thrive in that shopping center than to intentionally force it out of business. Just my 2 cents though...
  13. Jeff says:
    January 20th, 2010 at 02:39
    Panera is definitely a step down from ABC. Sure hope they decide to reopen somewhere else.
  14. Kari says:
    January 21st, 2010 at 13:21
    Please reopen! I will miss ABC too too much.
  15. Gordon McBride says:
    January 23rd, 2010 at 05:02
    Bad news. Panera's is not substitute for ABC!
  16. Wendy says:
    January 27th, 2010 at 18:09
    I just want to thank ABC for being such a great support to our community & wonderful dining spot over the years. They were present and providing wonderful treats for the participants at nearly every fundraising event I have attended in the area. I hope that they are able to relocate very soon within Lee's Summit so that they may continue their service to our community & that I may enjoy your great food again.

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