The successful fast-casual franchise concept headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., has more than 70 locations in 20 states. The company began in 1993 as a small sandwich cafe in the Sandy Springs suburb of Atlanta and within two years began offering franchises. Fast casual before the term was actually coined, the franchises specialize in house-baked breads, pastries, breakfast items and cookies and signature sandwiches, salads and soups. Atlanta Bread President and CEO Jerry Couvaras and brother and COO Basil Couvaras together oversee all the operations of the company's franchises, which underwent a massive facilities makeover in 2009 to strengthen the brand and improve customer awareness and service. Free Wi-Fi encourages a relaxed, coffee shop atmosphere, where breakfast- , lunch- and dinner-time patrons enjoy signature breakfast dishes, salads and sandwiches made from scratch.
Bake One, Atlanta Bread's expanded commissary, supplies its bakeries. Bake One has successfully provided the engine to drive the brand into new retail venues that include mega retail outlets Costco, Sam's Club and super grocer Giant Eagle. Bake One developed Costco's brand of cinnamon buns and the croissants and brownies at Sam's, expanding facilities to equal distribution capacity, and now supplies frozen and par-baked breads, bagels, cookies, frozen cheesecakes, croissants and pastries to hundreds of outlets. This large commissary is located in a 120,000 square-foot facility in Smyrna, Ga.
With new ventures in the works, Atlanta Bread is poised to continue its positive growth throughout 2012, employing more than 1,000 Georgians and utilizing through its operations an array of Georgia-grown produce, from peanuts and pecans to peaches, wheat and rye.