Panera Bread's newest Dayton-area drive-through opens today, March 12, in Sugarcreek Twp.
Photo: Submitted
Photo: Submitted

NEW TODAY: Panera Bread to give away free pastries for a year

Panera Bread’s southwest Ohio franchisee will celebrate the grand opening of a newly-added drive-through window at its Sugarcreek Plaza cafe and bakery by offering the opportunity to win free Panera pastries for a year today, Tuesday March 12.

Covelli Enterprises, Panera’s largest franchisee, added the drive-through to an existing bakery-café at 6130 Wilmington Pike, across from Miami Valley Hospital South. 

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The newly renovated Panera Bread will celebrate the drive-through with several grand opening special offers and giveaways today, March 12, for customers who use the Wilmington Pike drive-through. Ten randomly selected drive-through customers will receive free Panera Bread pastries for a year, defined by a spokeswoman as one free pastry per week for 52 weeks.

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Today and tomorrow, March 13, customers who buy a You-Pick-Two menu item will receive a $5 gift card for use during a future visit. And on Thursday morning, all Breakfast Sandwiches & Baked Egg Soufflés will be sold at half price.

The offers are good only for customers of the Wilmington Pike store’s drive-through, according to a Covelli release. 

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The “Free Pastry for a Year” giveaway coincides with the addition of new bakery products introduced earlier this year to the Panera Bread menu.

Panera Bread and other chain restaurants have been turning more toward drive-through windows to boost business. FILE

Those new pastries include the Vanilla Cinnamon roll, the Cherry Cheese Brittany (described as “a golden flaky butter pastry filled with cream-cheese filling and topped with cherry filling and a light dusting of powdered sugar), Cocoa & Crème Cookie, Cinnamon Crunch Scone, Blueberry Scone, and a new Brownie. Three croissants also have joined the menu, including the almond croissant, a traditional flaky butter croissant filled and topped with almond crème, sliced almonds, simple syrup, and powdered sugar. 

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Warren, Ohio-based Covelli Enterprises operates more than 300 Panera locations in eight states. The franchisee has been in the Dayton market since 2014, when it announced that it had purchased what were then 11 Panera locations.

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At the time, Covelli said it had big expansion plans for the Dayton-area market, and in 2016, it put its money behind those plans buy opening two new locations, in Englewood and in Huber Heights. 

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Covelli also opened a bakery facility in West Chester in 2015.

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