Cosi Names Hearthstone Associates as Franchisee of the Year

Così, Inc. (NASDAQ: COSI), the fast casual restaurant company, today announced that it had recently honored its Boston area franchisee, Hearthstone Associates, and its President, RJ Dourney, as its “Franchisee of the Year.”

Hearthstone Associates, who has been a Così franchisee since 2005, successfully operates twelve restaurants in the Boston area both in the city and surrounding suburbs as well as inside Logan Airport. Hearthstone was not only recognized for their superior operating performance but also for their charitable involvement in the communities in which they operate.

“RJ is a true leader and strategic partner dedicated to helping us build the Così brand,” said Carin Stutz, Così’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “RJ and his team have continually set the gold standard with their strong operations and excellent guest service.”

Così stated that the “Franchisee of the Year” award is given to franchisees that consistently execute and deliver a great guest experience, while driving their business forward. Their performance was rated by Così’s guest experience measurement tool as well as other results metrics.

“I am honored to receive this award on behalf of the entire Hearthstone team whose focus every day on achieving operational excellence has made this possible,” said RJ Dourney. “I look forward to continuing to work with Carin and her team to build a great brand for our guests and our employees.”

Così ( is a national fast casual restaurant chain that has developed featured foods built around a secret, generations-old recipe for crackly crust flatbread. This artisan bread is freshly baked in front of customers throughout the day in open-flame stone-hearth ovens prominently located in each of the restaurants. Così’s warm and urbane atmosphere is geared towards its sophisticated, upscale, urban and suburban guests. There are currently 79 Company-owned and 54 franchise restaurants operating in seventeen states, the District of Columbia and the United Arab Emirates. The Così vision is to become America’s favorite fast casual restaurant by providing customers authentic, innovative, savory food while remaining an affordable luxury.

The Così menu features Così sandwiches, freshly-tossed salads, breakfast wraps, melts, soups, Così Squagels, flatbread pizzas, S’mores, snacks and other desserts, and a wide range of coffee and coffee-based drinks and other specialty beverages. Così restaurants are designed to be welcoming and comfortable with an eclectic environment. Così’s sights, sounds, and spaces create a tasteful, relaxed ambience that provides a fresh and new dining experience.