Covelli Enterprises, the largest franchisee of Panera LLC, is opening the 2,000th Panera Bread in the nation. The grand opening of this drive-thru bakery-cafe in Elyria, Ohio, will take place on Wednesday, March 23 at 6:30 a.m. The new location features a drive thru and is conveniently located across from Chestnut Commons at the corner of Chestnut Ridge Road and Route 57.

The grand opening celebration will include two days of special offers. The first 200 customers on March 23 will receive a free You Pick Two for a Year certificate and, with any purchase, the first 2,000 customers will receive a free travel mug with two weeks of free coffee. In addition, former OSU star, Ezekiel Elliot will be signing autographs from 6 to 8 p.m. on March 23.

"We are honored to open the 2,000th Panera Bread Bakery-Cafe in the nation. It is a true testament to the strength of the brand, the loyalty of our customers, and the hard work of our employees," says Sam Covelli, owner-operator of Covelli Enterprises. "Cleveland has been an integral part of our company's growth for over 20 years. I am thrilled that the 2,000th bakery-cafe is opening in our largest market and in Northeast Ohio, where Covelli Enterprises was founded over 50 years ago.”

"The opening of our 2,000th bakery-cafe is a proud milestone for the Panera Family. Whenever we open a new location, I'm reminded that the strength of Panera has been built one guest and one bakery-cafe at a time," says founder and CEO Ron Shaich. "We are grateful to have strong partners, like Covelli Enterprises, who continue to deliver an industry-leading guest experience and are helping to propel our growth."

In celebration of the 2,000th location, $2,000 will be donated by Covelli Enterprises to the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1079 located in Elyria, Ohio.

Fast Casual, News, Panera Bread