ENGLEWOOD — Ohio-based Covelli Enterprises, the largest franchisee of Panera Bread, donated $1,000 to Northmont Friends In Service for Humanity (F.I.S.H.) Thursday as part of the official ribbon cutting ceremony for its newest Panera Bread bakery-café in Englewood.
The ribbon cutting was held at 10 a.m. with a VIP reception immediately following. Mayor Patricia Burnside made remarks. Representatives from the City of Englewood and the Northmont Area Chamber of Commerce assisted with the cutting of the ribbon. Candy Gauldin of F.I.S.H. was present to accept the check on behalf of the charity.
“This is probably one of the most well-attended ribbon cuttings I’ve seen,” said Liz Fiorino, regional marketing director for Covelli Enterprises. She went on to thank Cathy Hutton, CEO of the Northmont Area Chamber of Commerce for her assistance promoting Panera’s opening and connecting the business with its charity partner, Northmont F.I.S.H.
“I want to thank all of you for coming today and to thank Panera for coming to our community because we all needed this good food in our community,” Hutton said.
Attending the event were several F.I.S.H. volunteers, Chamber members Edwin Nyberg, Lisa Nussman and Steve Henne, State Representative Mike Henne, Englewood Mayor Patricia Burnside, Council Members Cathy McGrail-Klingler, Tom Franz and Michael Kline, and Economic Development Director William Singer.
“This is finally an end to a long road as we started this project in February of 2015,” Singer said. “For those of you on planning commission and council you know this project has gone through many changes. The developer though has done a fabulous job and I just want to say welcome to Panera Bread and to all the members that are here from F.I.S.H. and everybody else in the community. We are excited that this has opened and this store has brought a lot of opportunities for other development. As you see right next door we have a few other things happening and by November, hopefully, all this along with the project to the roadway will be wrapped up.”
“I love Panera,” said Mayor Burnside. “I was excited when I found out we were getting a Panera so I wouldn’t have to go to Kettering or to Miller Lane to eat at Panera. I love your cinnamon rolls, I love the tomato bisque, the black bean soup and I’ve been here three times already. I am so glad you are here.”
Brian Reitmann, general manager of Panera Bread, added, “I want to say thank you for everything. It has been a great opportunity and it has been awesome having you support us. I’m excited to be a part of the community and to be able to help out as much as possible with donations and anything we can do, I would be more than happy to help out in the community as much as possible. Also, the majority of our staff are actually members of the community of Englewood, which I am very happy about.”
The new Panera Bread café location officially opened on Tuesday, July 12 at 9194 N. Main Street near Meijer. The Grand Opening included several days of special offers and a two-week fundraising promotion benefitting F.I.S.H. For every $5 gift card redeemed at the new location, Panera Bread donated $1 to the cause.
The new Englewood location was the company’s thirteenth Panera Bread location in Dayton and its third with a drive thru. Covelli Enterprises acquired the Dayton market in September 2014 and has opened two new locations in the market since then. The Englewood location currently employs around 75 people from the area.
About Covelli Enterprises
Covelli Enterprises (www.covelli.com) is the single largest franchisee of Panera Bread with more than 300 bakery-cafes in Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kentucky, Canada, and Florida. The company prides itself on giving back to the communities it serves, donating $26 million to charity in 2015 alone.