Panera Bread's 'Pieces of Hope for Autism' Cookie Sale


Covelli Enterprises’ support for autism organizations surpasses $2 million

Fort Lauderdale, FL –April 1, 2019Covelli Enterprises, the largest franchisee of Panera Bread, is once again partnering with The Dan Marino Foundation (DMF) to celebrate Autism Awareness. Starting Monday, April 8th through Sunday, April 14, Panera will sell one-of-a-kind ‘Pieces of Hope for Autism’ cookies, which were specially designed to represent the symbol for autism and will be sold in all 31 cafes in Broward County and Palm Beach Counties in honor of World Autism Awareness month. 100% of the proceeds from all ‘Pieces of Hope for Autism’ cookie sales will be donated to DMF.

For over 27 years,DMF has been dedicated to “empowering individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities.” Initiatives include postsecondary programs in Fort Lauderdale at Marino Campus Broward, Marino Campus Miami-Dade located at Florida International University, the Nicklaus Children's Hospital Dan Marino Outpatient Center, the Marino Autism Research Institute, ViTA-DMF, Marino Adapted Aquatics, and Summer STEPS Employment Programs.

Since 2010, Covelli Enterprises has donated more than $2 million in the areas it serves to support various autism organizations, schools, and centers inproviding services, scholarships, research, treatment, advocacy, and resources for families. We pride ourselves on being in our 9th year of partnership with the Dan Marino Foundation – they are the pioneers of helping people with autism and learning disabilities in South Florida – the things they accomplish daily are nothing short of amazing.

The puzzle piece cookie is sold only in Covelli-owned and operated Panera Bread cafés each year. The cookie consists of Panera Bread’s famous shortbread topped with sweet white icing and an edible sugar decal and is made entirely free of any artificial colors, flavors, additives or preservatives.

“The ‘Pieces of Hope for Autism’ campaign is our largest company-wide initiative that we host every year. It involves more than 215 participating Panera locations in eight states and the hard work of more than 450 bakers to create these special, life-changing cookies,” said Sam Covelli, Owner | Operator of Covelli Enterprises. “We put everything we have behind this one-week campaign because our cookies have made such a significant difference for our partners and those with autism within the communities we serve.”

In addition to the ‘Pieces of Hope for Autism’ cookie campaign, Panera Bread will be collecting funds in all thirty-one (31) bakery-café locations through their Operation Doughnation boxes located next to the registers at each café. Operation Doughnation boxes will give Panera Bread customers an opportunity to further support The Dan Marino Foundation every time they visit a Panera Bread bakery-café across Broward and Palm Beach Counties now through May 31, 2019.  

“We’re proud to once again partner with Covelli Enterprises - Panera Bread for the 9th year. Our Foundation appreciates their leadership in showing acceptance and their generosity in giving back to the autism community. Every cookie purchased makes a difference. The ‘Pieces of Hope for Autism’ cookies are the best, just like the Panera Bread team that bakes them,” said Dan Marino, Chairman of The Dan Marino Foundation.

Panera Bread is encouraging ‘Pieces of Hope’ campaign supporters to share photos of their cookies on social media using #everycookiecounts. Cookies may be pre-ordered online at

About Covelli Enterprises

Covelli Enterprises operates 315 Panera Bread bakery-cafés in eight states. Headquartered in Warren, Ohio, Covelli Enterprises is the single largest franchisee of Panera Bread, LLC. In 2018, Covelli Enterprises donated more than $32 million to hunger relief agencies and non-profit organizations.

About The Dan Marino Foundation

The Dan Marino Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)3 organization was established by Dan and Claire Marino, motivated by their experiences in raising their son, Michael, who is diagnosed with autism. For over 27 years, the Foundation has been a leader in innovation and change, "empowering individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities.” The Foundation has raised more than $72 million to create unique and impactful initiatives in the community. Among these first-of-their-kind initiatives are the Nicklaus Children's Hospital Dan Marino Outpatient Center, the Marino Autism Research Institute, Marino Adapted Aquatics, Summer STEPS Employment Programs, Virtual Interactive Training Agent Program (ViTA-DMF), and now post-secondary programs at both Marino Campus in Broward and at FIU in Miami-Dade. For more information, please visit,marinocampus.orgor

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