Joyce Mayer is the General Manager for the Austintown Panera, which is a Covelli Enterprise Franchise store. Joyce has been with the company for almost 11 years and has worked her way up in the company.
Joyce spent the first half of her working life taking apart carburetors and helping customers in her family’s auto repair business in Youngstown.
“I loved working on cars, but when my dad died it was time for me to move on to something else,” she said.
“When a new person starts, I say to them that after thirty days here you will feel like family,” she said. “We’re close to each other. If someone’s car breaks done and doesn’t have a ride to work, someone will volunteer to give them a ride.’ If someone is sick and calls off, someone will bring them soup after work.”
She said some employees have moved on to attend college, but they still stay in touch and sometimes call to get together.
At Austintown Panera the employees have a close relationship with their customers.
“The employees will sit with the customers when they are on break,” she said
She explained that one customer had lost his wife to cancer about a year ago and is extremely lonely. “The interaction that he has with our associates is so important to him,” she said. “I love that my employees sit with the customers,” said Joyce
Because of Joyce’s hard work to create lasting relationships with her customers, it’s no surprise that the Austintown Panera usually outsells all other stores for different fundraising events.
For instance, the Austintown store sold 5,000 bagels in one day during the Pink Ribbon Bagel Promotion to benefit the Joanie Abdu Comprehensive Breast Care Center in Youngstown. The store also led the company in sales of the puzzle piece cookies for autism.
“We don’t do it for the competition, we do it because it’s a good cause and we make it fun,” she said.
Joyce lives in Berlin Center with her husband Marty. They have been married for 34 years. They have two children, Marty and Julie. Marty lives with his wife Julie in Virginia Beach and they are expecting their first child this summer. Julie is married to Shaun and they live in Austintown with their 15 month old son Lincoln. They are expecting another child in the fall.
Joyce loves spending her free time with her family, especially her grandson. She is anxiously awaiting the arrival of her two new grandkids so she can’t start spoiling them.
Joyce said she cannot imagine working anywhere other than Panera and her biggest regret is that she didn’t start when she was younger.
“I have a lot of respect for Mr. Covelli and enjoy working for him. I am thankful for the opportunities I have had over the years working for the company,” said Joyce