A Valley businessman who has already made his mark in the restaurant business is expanding his footprint.

 National coffeehouse franchise Caribou Coffee announced on Tuesday that it has signed what it calls its largest domestic franchise development deal with Covelli Enterprises.

According to a media release, Covelli Enterprises CEO Sam Covelli plans to open more than 100 Caribou Coffee locations with his three children across the northern half of Ohio, western Pennsylvania, and Florida.

Caribou Coffee is part of Panera Brands’ portfolio which also includes Panera Bread and Bagel Brands. Covelli Enterprises is the largest franchisee of Panera Bread.

Covelli says he plans to grow the coffeehouse brand, opening the company’s first Caribou Coffee locations in Mahoning Valley where Covelli Enterprises is based.

The first location is expected to open later this year in the Glacier Hills Plaza in Springfield Township along the Ohio Turnpike.

"We're putting our first caribou coffee in the Valley, the same place we put our first Panera and we're just so happy to be able to offer this to our loyal customers," Sam Covelli said, "Caribou first of all is the only coffee concept that literally uses real ingredients for everything."

Covelli also plans to open a freestanding location with a drive-thru at the beginning of 2024 in Canfield, off Boardman-Canfield Rd, near Panera Bread.

The company statement says Covelli is also looking at potential locations in Boardman, Austintown, and Warren.

Covelli said his goal is to uphold the premium quality of Caribou, and provide fast service.

"People are on the go when they're buying coffee," he said, "They want to get somewhere quickly and that's something that we are going to be very crazy about is making sure that we get not only the best coffee but it better be the fastest coffee."

A former Caribou Coffee in The Shops at Boardman Park was rebranded in 2013 as Peet's Coffee and Tea which closed about a year later.

“When I was first approached by Panera Brands to become involved in Caribou Coffee, I was intrigued, especially since the coffee industry is continuing to see unbelievable growth,” said Covelli, “We look forward to growing the brand right here in Mahoning Valley where our company started, and across other markets in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida.”

Franchise Analyst Jonathan Anderson said the coffee industry continues to grow, and that grabbing coffee on the go is something that will remain popular. 

"The fact is Americans love their coffee," Anderson said, "Certainly having a large franchisee like this one is going to help push the brand up, so it's really a joint partnership between the franchisee and Caribou Coffee to bring it to the next level."

Caribou Coffee recently announced several domestic franchise development agreements to open over 300 franchise locations domestically.

Founded in 1992, Caribou Coffee’s innovations included the drive-thru-focused Caribou cabin prototype featuring a smaller footprint, designed to offer speed and convenience.

With more than 750 coffeehouses worldwide, Caribou offers Rainforest Alliance Certified coffees and espresso.

As of March 28, 2023, Caribou Coffee has 330 company-owned, 141 non-traditional and 294 traditional franchise locations in 11 countries.

Headquartered in Warren, Covelli Enterprises operates nearly 300 Panera Bread bakery-cafes spanning eight states.