“In order to find your passion, sometimes you have to create it. For me, it happened to be the quest for the perfect sandwich.”
– Drew Harre, founder of Cosi®
It shouldn’t be that hard to find the perfect sandwich in Paris - a city renowned for its food scene. But for young New Zealander Drew Harre, the hunt proved fruitless. So, he set out to make his own.
Drew understood that the soul of a sandwich lies in the bread, so he set off for Italy. In Rome, Drew discovered an old bakery run by two brothers and a flatbread recipe that was centuries old. Drew trained as an apprentice and, after many early mornings and hours spent in front of the brothers’ hearth oven, Drew was ready to bring his flatbread back to Paris.
Combining fresh ingredients and the timeless flatbread, Drew opened his restaurant, Cosi, in 1989. Soon, the little bistro became a favorite lunch spot for Parisians.
Luckily, you don’t have to travel to Paris to experience Cosi®today. The Mediterranean style restaurant concept was brought to the United States after two brothers, Shep and Jay Wainwright, discovered it in Paris. Shep and Jay tried Cosi® and fell in love. The Wainwrights convinced Drew to sell them the rights to the concept outside of Paris and opened their first restaurant in New York City in 1996.
20 years later, we have locations spanning the United States, Costa Rica, and Dubai. In collaboration with our franchise partners, we look forward to developing further into Central America soon.
While we may have opened new restaurants, Drew’s vision of a perfect sandwich remains intact. At the heart of every Cosi® is an Italian-style hearth, just like the one Drew found in Rome, along with our flatbread tradition and craveable flavors that we bring to life. And just as the original Cosi® restaurant became a favorite gathering place in Paris, all our Cosi® restaurants are the cornerstones of their communities.
For those that are new to Cosi®, we look forward to welcoming you. For our old friends, we look forward to seeing you again.