We Knead Your Dough

Where do I start? 

At the beginning? 


It all started in Kansas City in 1987. Just another week-end jaunt down Ward Boulevard with 2 teen-age kids in tow aimlessly wandering the shopping mall(s) to find ways of disposing of our disposable income. 

Having no idea how that this would be a watershed decision for our future, we stopped at a bakery. Not your average bakery, this place was making everything from scratch. Whole grain breads, sourdough, whole grain cookies, and sweet breads.

The store itself was “cute” and the very small lobby was full of waiting customers. Every part of the store appeared to be cramped.

Classic upbeat rock-n-roll, playing just a tad too loud, spiced up the environment.  

Behind the counter, employees were shoulder to shoulder serving customers. 

Further back behind these people, the processing area was defined by a large butcher block table (the kneading table) surrounded by hundreds of large and small baking tools. 5 or 6 employees were stationed around this “breadboard” kneading individual lumps of dough into oval shaped loaves.

And, in the “way” back sat the largest commercial oven (about 15 feet wide) we had ever seen. 

For all of the unique features and vibrant environment of this bakery, the lasting impact of the experience was the aroma, that unfreakinforgetable, addictive aroma. 

In about 20 minutes the olfactory factor had hooked my wife and I. 

Fast forward to 1991 – – – – A job transfer takes our family back to our roots in Wisconsin. We’ve been doing well financially for several years. 

Hence, we are meandering around a trendy suburban village, again, looking for ways to dispose of our income. And what to our wondering eyes should appear, but a cute little bakery by the same name as the one we knew in K.C. 
The name , Great Harvest, was the only similarity to the one in K.C The layout, marketing materials, and product offerings in the Wisconsin store were completely different. It’s there that we learned that Great Harvest is a franchise! 

At the time, the thought of buying into it never crossed our minds. We had no need or desire to invest in and run our own business. 

It would be 11 more years before we would “re-invent” ourselves by becoming owners of a Great Harvest Bread Store.

To be continued ————-

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