Centered on Chicken

Breez-In has made its foodservice program the key to customer satisfaction.

May 15, 2023

By Sarah Hamaker

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—The foundation of Breez-In, a six-unit chain headquartered in Prince George, Virginia, is its chicken. The company put a lot of effort into developing its proprietary recipes and branding its foodservice with chicken—fried and baked—at the center. “Our foodservice is an integral part of our stores,” said David M. Bogese, COO for parent company Breez-In Associates. “The basis for that program is chicken. We want to be known for having the best fried chicken within the convenience store industry.”

The hand-battered, always fresh chicken is the star of the deli, which has expanded to include potato wedges and mac and cheese, along with other items. “We wanted the flexibility to be creative with our chicken, rather than conform to a franchise recipe,” he said. “That’s the main reason we developed our own foodservice brand.”

Bogese’s father started the company in 1984, growing it to 15 Virginia locations and five Houston stores by 1996. The senior Bogese added a deli with a focus on chicken from the beginning, with fried chicken and chicken gizzards and livers, as well as baked spaghetti, barbecue pork and goulash specials. Over the years, he sold parts of the business, retaining only a handful of locations. By the time the junior Bogese graduated from college in 2015, Breez-In had only two locations.

“He asked me if I wanted to get into the c-store business, and I saw an opportunity to restart our brand and grow the company,” the younger Bogese said. Since then, four more locations have been acquired, with the company actively looking for additional opportunities. “As we’ve ramped up our business, we’ve found older customers saying they remember Breez-In from my father’s time, while we’re still building the brand with our younger customers.”

This article originally appeared in the Ideas 2 Go column of the May 2023 issue of NACS Magazine. Read the remainder of the article in the digital PDF version of the May issue.

Sarah Hamaker is a freelance writer, NACS Magazine contributor and romantic suspense author based in Fairfax, Virginia. Visit her online at