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When someone asks, “What do you do?” I hesitate to give a text book answer.  As a Post Tracker on our bakery support team, my job is to support newer bakery cafe owners during their first year with weekly calls and periodic visits. My goal is make them all profitable small business owners.  I guess that makes me a business consultant or advisor. 

But, I prefer to call myself a combination of coach and cheerleader. 

As the coach, it’s my job to teach owners how to reach their goals, direct them to tackle the most important priorities on their list, pat them on the back when they reach a milestone and push them to work in the areas where they need to improve.  Yes, it’s OK if you’re picturing me on the sidelines of an NFL game asking a player “What were you thinking?!”  I have always believed that if I don’t say the tough stuff, the compliments are not going mean much. 

football stadium

Cheerleading is just as important as coaching.  Every business has its tough days.  Every business owner will sometimes question their own ability to succeed.  My priority is to support them through those days.  I cheer them on...letting them know that there is someone who believes in them and knows that they can reach their goals. 


At the end of a year, most bakery cafe owners graduate from post tracking.  If I’ve done my job, they have not only the tools to be successful but also the confidence to make it happen.  When Greensboro, NC bakery owner Sheila Barth graduated, she wrote me an email that summed it up better than I can…

Greensboro bakery owner photo

The weekly calls provide a booster shot of confidence…a pep-talk to keep going. So often we dispense the “can-do” to the team and to family, that our own can be in short supply. I am certain that is not in any Franchise manual of ours or any company! It speaks to the human connections that make Great Harvest so special. It is an intangible that goes a long way. In summary, moving forward is more than me thinking “What would Kayla say” it’s reminding myself that “If Kayla thinks I can, then just maybe, I can!”

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Football stadium Image courtesy of arkorn at

Photo credit for cheerleaders:Toast to Life via photopincc

I'm Kayla Conner and I accidentally found Great Harvest almost seventeen years ago while searching for a cup of coffee! Who knew that what I'd find was phenomenal bread and the some of the nicest, most generous people in the world. I thought, hey... sounds like a great place to work! So, I joined the team at the franchise office. As a Post-Tracker and Bakery Advisor for Great Harvest, I travel to bakeries and cafes in all parts of the USA helping them with whatever they might need to improve their business. Whenever I'm asked what I like most about my job, the answer is simple... "hugs from franchise owners when I leave them to travel to the next location." Those relationships are what energizes me get up early in the morning to catch that next plane or drive late at night to the next hotel. So, even on days when the security lines seem endless, I can't imagine doing anything else.