Panera and customers give to Salvation Army
Panera Bread of Kansas, which owns three restaurants in Eastern Jackson County, held its second annual Stock the Shelves event last week, bringing in more than 1,600 food items for the Salvation Army. The company donated $2,000 to the Salvation Army as well.

The company gave its customers coffee or soft drinks in exchange for the donations, and those who brought in 10 or more items got a coupon for the company’s new chili and cornbread.

Panera Bread of Kansas, based in Prairie Village, has 30 locations in the metro area – including Independence, Blue Springs and Lee’s Summit – as well as in Wichita, Topeka, Lawrence, Manhattan and St. Joseph.

For more information, visit

Learn@Lunch puts focus on branding
Independence Economic Development is offering a three-part Learn@Lunch program, BrandKinetics.
The seminars are from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesdays in the board room at the Ennovation Center, 201 N. Forest Ave. (in the old Independence Regional Health Center).

The topics are:

Dec. 8, No. 1 Brand – Defined. Jan. 12, No. 2 Brand – Strategy Feb. 9, No. 3 Brand – Inside Out.

Call the EDC at 816-252-5776, or visit its new website at

Ribbon cuttings set
The Independence Chamber of Commerce has set a ribbon cutting for 4 p.m. Dec. 1 for Especially Jewelry at 18931-G E. Valley View Parkway, Independence.
The Blue Springs Chamber of Commerce has set a ribbon cutting for 9:30 a.m. Dec. 7 at Memories on Main, 1105A Main St. Blue Springs.

Great Plains posts improved earnings
The parent company of Kansas City Power & Light has reported higher earning.

Great Plains Energy, based in Kansas City, has reported third-quarter profits of $131.6 million, or 96 cents a share, up from earnings of $78.7 million, or 58 cents a share, in the third quarter of 2009, when warmer weather lowered sales.

KCP&L, which brought the Iatan 2 coal plant on line this summer, serves most of the Missouri side of the Kansas City area, except Independence, which has a municipally owned utility.

Chamber seminar for small businesses
A one-hour seminar called “Big Brand Strategies for Small Business” is being offered by the Lee’s Summit Chamber of Commerce.

It’s at 3:30 p.m. Dec. 7 in the Manhattan Room on Jacob Drive in John Knox Village. The presenter, Paul Weber of the Entrepreneur Advertising Group, will discuss improving a company’s brand message, targeting customers, building awareness, increasing sales and keeping customers.

The seminar is free for chamber members. Call the chamber at 816-524-2424.