Step into one of the 14 Panera Bread locations in Palm Beach County, and it may seem as if the popular eatery has been painted pink.
Stacks of large Pink Ribbon Coffee Mugs are neatly displayed along the register, and there are bakers baskets filled with Pink Ribbon Bagels, which are part of Panera's effort to promote breast cancer awareness.
"People look forward to the Pink Ribbon Bagel every year, and we sell thousands of the mugs through the month," said Nicky Tesser, director of marketing and public relations for Panera Bread and Covelli Enterprises.
The ribbon-shaped bagels cost $1.59 apiece and are baked overnight in stores so that they are ready for the daily breakfast rush. Fresh dried cherries and cranberries are baked into the dough, along with honey, a touch of vanilla and brown sugar.
The bagels are offered every October as part of Panera's Breast Cancer Awareness campaign and are available with a variety of cream cheese choices, including raspberry, honey walnut, New York cheesecake and wild blueberry.
Customer Chris Anton recently stopped by the Panera bakery at 1701 S. Federal Highway to purchase a $10 refillable Pink Ribbon Coffee Mug.
"My mom died of cancer," Anton said, "so I buy the mug in memory of my mother but to also support cancer research and breast cancer awareness."
There are also Panera Bread locations in Boynton Beach at 701 N. Congress Ave., in Lake Worth at 6300 Lantana Road and in Wellington at 10540 Forest Hill Blvd. The Royal Palm Beach Panera Bread is located at 11131 Southern Blvd., and there are three locations in Boca Raton: 222 NW 51st St., 5050 Town Center Circle and 20437 State Road 7.
The owner of all 14 Panera Bread bakeries in Palm Beach County and 12 in Broward County is Covelli Enterprises. Proceeds from the sale of the two Go Pink With Panera Bread special breast cancer awareness items are being used to support local organizations.
In Palm Beach County, the funds collected from sales of the mugs and bagels are going to the Boca Raton Regional Hospital Foundation. In Broward County, the Broward Health Foundation will be the beneficiary.
"We wanted to give back to local organizations in each county," Tesser said.
Covelli Enterprises and Panera Bread are also providing order forms for Bagel Packs. The forms are available at PaneraBread.com/PinkRibbonBagel.
Covelli Enterprises owns and operates more than 200 Panera Bread bakery-cafes in four states: Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Florida. Covelli Enterprises is headquartered in Warren, Ohio, and employs more than 20,000 people.
Tesser said that Panera also has a program called Operation Dough-Nation that supports hunger relief efforts in a number of communities. At the end of each day, all unsold bread and bakery products are donated to local food banks and pantries. Last year, Panera Bread/Covelli Enterprises donated $13 million to charity and hunger relief organizations.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun