Bread Business Blog

Real Food. Real People. Real Business.

We share information about all three topics.

Great Harvest is a community of people who love whole grains, fresh bread and owning our own businesses in our towns across the U.S.


Earth Day Turns 44! Honor It With 365 Days of Green Business Practices

Posted by Lauren Johnson

April 21, 2014 at 5:50 AM

On April 22nd of every year since 1970, our nation has celebrated Earth Day. Similar to the Great Harvest Bread Company, Earth Day originated in the midst of the hippie and flower-child culture in the United States. According to, the idea for Earth Day came to their founder Gaylord Nelson (then a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin) after witnessing the ravages of the massive 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara, California.

Inspired by the student anti-war movement, Nelson realized that if he could infuse that energy with an emerging public consciousness about air and water pollution, it would force environmental protection onto the national political agenda. On the 22nd of April, 1970, twenty million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies. Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment, and Earth Day was born.


Topics: business ownership, Great Harvest bakery owner stories

Whole Grain Breads Are Full of Nutrition, Not Marketing

Posted by Debbie Huber

April 17, 2014 at 6:00 AM

With infinite choices available, Americans have never had as much freedom to shape our own dietary paths as we do today. For perspective, I remember stories of my grandfather and his siblings during the Great Depression eating only crackers for weeks on end, and then only eggs for weeks on end. Today, we have the luxury of making choices about our diets either for perceived health benefits or based on socio-political priorities (such as buying local). 

Choices may be a luxury, but that doesn't mean they come easy. Consumers are flooded with conflicting information about diets and nutrition, just as they are flooded with new food product choices. Swimming in aisle after aisle of beckoning packages of food (most of which completely obscure the food itself), it's easy to forget that you can't actually eat the marketing. Underneath the packaging, what is the true value of whole grain products?


Topics: whole wheat flour, whole wheat bread, whole grains

Where Does Smart Local Retail Meet Healthy Bread? At a Farmer's Market.

Posted by Mike Ferretti, CEO

April 14, 2014 at 6:00 AM

I was recently asked whether I thought farmers markets were a good way to expand local retail business reach. It's a great question, and one that merits consideration by anyone in the business of creating healthy, natural, and less-processed foods, such as those we specialize in at Great Harvest.

Healthy Bread at Farmers Market
My short answer? YES! In the last ten years the number of farmers markets in the U.S. has more than doubled (Source: US News on The Farmers Market Boom). In 2011, Americans spent more than $7 billion on locally-sourced foods. This is spot-on with many food trends we're seeing in America.


Topics: whole wheat bread, real food, business ownership

Harness the Business Power of Starting With "Yes"

Posted by Scott Molyneaux

April 10, 2014 at 6:09 AM

If you own a business or work in an environment where customer satisfaction is paramount, you may be no stranger to the concept of starting with "yes." I thought I had a harness on the power of yes. And then I experienced its power on a whole new level which challenged me to raise my own bar. While at our recent convention, I had the pleasure of being on the receiving end of some exemplary "yes-thinking" in action. I was so impressed by the lengths that others went to in order to deliver "yes" for me, that it inspired me to reflect on what I've learned about the business power of yes in my own life.


Topics: business ownership, customer service

How big should a local retail bakery be?

Posted by Mike Ferretti, CEO

April 7, 2014 at 5:42 AM

We have studied this question about optimal bakery square footage over and over and over again and always find that, while we have an answer, we will always make reasonable accommodations to get the right space.  

Which is a long way of saying, “It depends.”

What is your bakery business and product line model?  Concepts generally come in small, medium and large sizes:

  •          small bakeries have a less diverse product line version and no seating,
  •          medium-sized local retail bakeries have a diverse product line with little or no seating, and
  •          large bakeries have a diverse product line and seating for customers.

Topics: business model

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