Mason Café Opening Signals More Growth in Our Home State

Our Plans to Expand in Cincinnati

It’s been nearly four years since the Cincinnati market has seen a new Panera Bread location. Now, we’re starting a new wave of growth in the Queen City beginning with the recent Grand Opening of our drive-thru café in Mason with many more to come. In other words, the focus on expanding the Panera Bread concept in Cincy, one of our home state’s largest cities, has just begun!

The Mason Panera Bread opened Tuesday, November 7 to an excited crowd! The new Panera, located at 5270 Kings Mills Rd. in front of Kroger, opened with a free coffee and travel mug giveaway, free car coaster giveaway for drive-thru customers, and an offering of a $5 gift card for every You-Pick-Two purchased.

The 5,000-square-foot, next-generation, freestanding bakery-cafe is equipped with a convenient drive-thru and plenty of patio space for guests to enjoy a meal outdoors when the weather permits. In addition, it is the first Panera in Cincinnati to offer kiosk ordering stations – an option that reduces wait time for all guests. Panera kiosks are just one of a series of integrated technologies our stores have introduced in recent years to enhance our guest experience. It’s all part of our growth plan!

Also part of the plan: partnership building and more café locations. Since we acquired the 21 bakery-cafés in Cincinnati in April of 2016, we’ve taken steps to grow the brand’s overall presence in the market with the recent launch of small order delivery, the addition of a drive-thru to the Finneytown location earlier this year, and the development of large-scale partnerships with the Cincinnati Reds and University of Cincinnati.

cinci-openings-1440x1080In addition to ongoing business objectives, Covelli Enterprises plans to maintain its strategic focus on community involvement and philanthropy within the Cincinnati area. Panera has supported such local organizations as Freestore Foodbank, Shared Harvest Foodbank, the Mason Food Pantry and the American Cancer Society of Southwest Ohio for many years. The Covelli acquisition in 2016 opened the doors for new strategic partnerships with local non-profit organizations like the Disabled American Veterans, Cincinnati Toys for Tots, Mercy Health Foundation, St. Elizabeth Foundation, and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, among others.

Our excitement about growing this brand in our home state Ohio is hard to contain. We’ve got big plans for Panera in Ohio, and our growth in Cincinnati is a key part of those plans. We can’t wait!

Covelli Enterprises Proud to Be Associated With Pink Ribbon Girls

Dayton Organization Provides Practical Help to Women Battling Cancer

Angie Squires refers to Pink Ribbon Girls with a simple phrase: “A Blessing.”
Pink Ribbon Girls entered Angie’s life at a terribly challenging time.  It was May 2014 and the 48 year-old mother of two had just been diagnosed with breast cancer.  She was receiving life-saving but exhausting treatments for the disease when a friend connected her to Pink Ribbon Girls of Dayton.
angie-squires-300x300The Pink Ribbon Girls began bringing her, her husband, and two sons meals every day and cleaning their home.
But that’s not all, the organization also offered her support from peers who had faced similar challenges. “Pink Ribbon Girls provided the peer support to allow me to ‘compare notes’ with other survivors and to encourage and be encouraged by others. Volunteer opportunities with PRG were and are a means to ‘pay it forward’ and share my experiences and help others who are on this same journey,” Angie said.
“I have met some amazing and courageous women and developed some lifelong friendships along the way,” she said.
Pink Ribbon Girls formed in 2012 by breast cancer survivors to help Angie and others who are currently in the fight against breast and women’s reproductive cancers. Sarah Gillenwater, director of marketing for Pink Ribbon Girls, said the organization wants to do more than just “talk about cancer.” “We want to take on cancer. We are here to make the burden lighter. We strive to balance the fear and uncertainty that breast and women’s reproductive cancers bring to individuals and families,” she said.
Pink Ribbon Girls offers women and their families healthy meals, housecleaning, rides to treatment and peer support. “We want to ensure that no one travels this road alone™,” Sarah said.
Pink Ribbon Girls, a non-profit, which is funded by donations from Covelli Enterprises and other businesses and individuals, provided 61,000 meals to clients and their families in 2016 and is on track to serve 75,000 in 2017. The organization works with about 175 clients each week.
The meals are prepared by executive chefs who focus on the nutrition that a cancer patient requires. The meals are flash-frozen and delivered to clients’ homes. The housecleaning is performed by bonded and insured companies. Similarly, the rides that Pink Ribbon Girls provides are offered through its trained transportation specialist.
Sam Covelli of Covelli Enterprises said it is an honor to be able to support the highly professional work of Pink Ribbon Girls. “This is an organization that was formed by women who battled breast cancer. So they truly understand the needs of others battling the disease. We applaud their work,” Sam said.angie-squires-2-300x416
Pink Ribbon Girls began its association with Covelli Enterprises when Heather Salazar, the organization’s president and chief executive officer, met Jessica Cavaliere, regional marketing director for Covelli Enterprises.
Heather remembered the meeting, “I immediately loved her passion and willingness to think outside the box.  She was on a mission to make sure our Dayton campaign was super successful.  We had brainstorming sessions and created ways to increase awareness of the campaign.  We loved partnering with Jessica and team.  The rest is history.”
Jessica offered similar praise for Heather and the entire Pink Ribbon Girls team, calling the work one of the highlights of her career with Panera Bread. “Their dedication to the cause and the support from the people they serve every day in our local communities has shone through in every campaign! Looking forward to seeing what the future holds for our partnerships,” she said.
Covelli Enterprise’s 50+ Dayton- and Columbus-area Panera Bread cafés will raise money for Pink Ribbon Girls through its annual Pink Ribbon Bagel campaign. In Dayton, 100 percent of the proceeds on Tuesday, Oct. 24 and a portion of the proceeds from the rest of October will benefit the cause.
Round-up donations will also be collected at cash registers at the cafes throughout the month.
Covelli Enterprises has donated more than $3 million since 2010 to Pink Ribbon Girls and similar breast cancer organizations.
Bagel orders can be placed at

Franchisee of the Year

covelli-top-awardI am humbled and deeply honored by the top award we just received from Panera Bread 

As a person who grew up in the food service industry, I know – first-hand – what it takes to create a quality experience for customers. It involves everything from ensuring you are serving great food to hiring quality people. Are your floors clean? Are your counters sparkling? Is your staff smiling? Are your customers satisfied and coming back? Are your windows clean? Is your marketing working? Do you have responsible food suppliers? Are you seizing opportunities for growth and expansion?

I could keep going, but I think you understand that it takes a lot.

Most of all, it takes a staff that is dedicated to excellence.

I am so proud to tell you that we have that kind of staff – people who care about what we do.

And I am not the only one who thinks this way.

Panera Bread, LLC, has awarded us franchisee of the year, the top award that a franchisee owner can receive from the Panera corporation.

We were presented the award in March 2017 at a ceremony in Nashville, Tenn. at Panera Bread’s “Family Reunion,” a gathering of Panera franchisees that is held once every five years.

I accepted the award on behalf of our Covelli Enterprises/Panera Bread family in front of thousands of general managers, district managers, and support staff on both the company and franchisee side. I still feel the excitement of that moment!

To say that I was proud to accept this award would be a dramatic understatement.

I couldn’t stop smiling because I know how significant this award is. It is given to Panera franchisees who achieve operational excellence, market/real estate growth, café openings, market acquisitions and financial metrics.

I am humbled and honored, but if I can be completely candid, I am not surprised.  We have a team that is second-to-none and customers who are an absolute joy to serve.

Panera Bread drops artificial sweeteners and preservatives This is another reason why I am Panera Proud

I am so proud to be president of the company that holds the distinction of owning and operating more Panera Bread restaurants than any other single company in the world. I’m proud because Panera is a spectacular restaurant and a great brand.