Industry News | February 19, 2010

To the Community Heroes, Bruegger's Says 'Thanks'

There are many ways to say “thank you,” and for Bruegger’s this week, the expression of gratitude was delivered across the country in the form of free bagel platters.

All week, employees at each of the 293 Bruegger’s units had the opportunity to deliver platters to the “heroes” in their community as part of the bakery café’s “Neighborhood Heroes” program.

“We feel really good about the neighborhoods we are in and there are people who make those great neighborhoods to live and work in every day,” says Lisa Doherty, field marketing manager for Bruegger’s.

“We wanted to do something—and it’s just a little something—but it’s something nice to honor those people, those community heroes in our bakery.”

Doherty says that employees could choose two or three civic or nonprofit organizations—from police and fire stations to libraries and teachers—to deliver free platters to, along with a certificate of thanks.

“We really left that in the hands of the local team, and they had such a great time with it, they really loved it,” she says.

The “Neighborhood Heroes” program began last summer in the Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, and Boston markets, and was so successful that the company decided to run it system-wide.

Doherty says the program is an extension of Bruegger’s corporate team’s efforts to be involved in its community of Burlington, Vermont.

“All of the corporate employees are given the opportunity to give hours of their work time to volunteer for a charity or volunteer for an organization in our community,” she says.

“This is a way of extending that program, getting out there, being in our neighborhood, and trying to be a good neighbor. For us it’s important because it’s part of our culture.”

While Doherty says that getting involved in the community is a good way to promote a brand, she says that Bruegger’s is not expecting any reward on its end by running the “Neighborhood Heroes” program.

“If it’s that bakery management and teams get a chance to go out and give a hearty thanks to people in that community and not really get any return, we’re happy with that,” she says.

By Sam Oches