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I’m posting this the day after the event almost on purpose.   I’m not advertising what Panera Bread did, I’m thanking them for it.

Any of you who know me know that I’m a Firefighter and Emergency Services Dispatcher (in my spare time). Correction – Volunteer Firefighter. That’s right – professional but unpaid.

Covelli Enterprises, Owner and Operator of most of the Panera Bread locations in the Pittsburgh area honored local Police, Fire and EMS this week by giving anyone who showed their ID or came into the store in uniform a FREE You Pick Two meal.

Now, I don’t usually cash in on my uniform but I did partake in a soup and a sandwich yesterday, bought a tea and thoroughly enjoyed it.

So – Thank you Panera!

People (and businesses) are often all too forgetful of their community heroes.
I’m not saying that there should be free soups and sandwiches all-round but a nod or a thank you here and there goes a long way.

As we in our Volunteer Fire Departments say – just because we’re professional, it doesn’t mean that we’re paid!

See the press release from Covelli below.

PITTSBURGH, PA, January 9, 2012 – Panera Bread is showing appreciation to Community Heroes. On January 11 and 12, 2012 all 28 Pittsburgh-area Panera Bread cafés will honor local Firefighters, Police and EMTs. By wearing their uniform or showing a service I.D. or badge, they can receive a Free You Pick Two.

“Panera Bread likes to support the communities in which they are placed and the people in them.” said Sam Covelli, Owner and Operator of Covelli Enterprises. “Our local first responder community heroes protect and serve us every day. Panera looks forward to serving them this time.”

On January 11 and 12, 2012, Pittsburgh area Panera Bread cafes are offering a FREE You Pick Two, to Firefighters, Police and EMTs who show their badge, or service I.D. or wear their uniform while visiting a Pittsburgh area Panera Café.

About Covelli Enterprises
Covelli Enterprises, along with affiliated Covelli Family partnerships, currently owns and operates more than 200 Panera Bread bakery-cafes in Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kentucky, Florida and Canada.  Covelli Enterprises was also ranked the eighth largest franchise group in the United States in 2010 by Franchise Times Magazine.

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