Ok- so I’ve spent 30 years helping just about every brand you’ve ever heard of grow into a marketing powerhouse (well, maybe not every brand, but many of them). I've worked hard to make these brands (and their shareholders) both “rich” and wealthy.
I have worked for major corporations through spinning off, not spinning off, and now splitting. I have worked at startups and spinouts. Been there, done that. And those days are now DONE. It was fun while it lasted, but a new era has just begun. For me. And for you, if you own or want to own a Great Harvest.
Well, folks — get ready for the ride of your life, because there is nothing in the world that motivates me more than true ownership: ownership of a brand, ownership of our future, and ownership of our destiny (okay, I saw Star Wars too many times)…
Nothing makes me more excited than what I did this week — turning all that prior hard work of mine into ownership of Great Harvest Franchising, Inc. Within the Great Harvest Franchise family, our success and our futures are now both inextricably linked. We are one.
Let no one think for a minute that somehow, someway, as owners of the franchise, we have different agendas from our franchise owners. That simply cannot be true. The only way that Mike and I can succeed as owners is if our franchisees succeed. And that is what we are all about.
If there is one thing that working for 30 years in the advertising business taught me, it’s that no matter how good the agency thinks it is doing, no matter how many great ads you think you made . . . if they don’t work, and the clients are not successful . . . you fail.
So whoever wants “in,” we are in this together for a long time to come. And we are going to grow together, in every store, in every market we are in today, and in the new markets we add.
Let me tell you why. Because we are special. We do things right. From the very start when we hand select our wheat from the best wheat source on earth. To the time that wheat arrives at locally-owned stores where it will be stone milled into fresh flour on-site then baked into phenomenal breads and goodies every day from scratch. Until the moment when our fresh baked goods are cheerfully passed over the counter to customers who become friends of Great Harvest for life. This is what sets us apart.
So, why am I here??? Why do I believe the best is yet to come? Because: 1) NOBODY ELSE DOES WHAT WE DO! And 2) NOBODY KNOWS ABOUT US!! There is nowhere to go but UP!
At Great Harvest, we do things right for the customer and by the customer. We make our food the right way, and it tastes great. And when we do that, we live in customers’ hearts and minds for life. When they move away, they miss us. When we open a store in their town, they rejoice. That is why I am here.
We are a unique concept, a genuine and authentic brand. And we will stay that way. But we cannot stand still. Growth is not an “option.” It is your future, my future, and most importantly, all our families’ futures that are at stake. In this business, if you stand still you become “stale” and irrelevant. And that is not a path we can afford to choose.
The good news is that our path to growth and a wildly successful future is based on what we are doing today in every store. We don’t have to start over. We need only to expand the opportunity for our consumers to know about us and enjoy our product.
We are not just “a bread store,” we are bread heaven; a place where you can enjoy bread in all its shapes, flavors and forms. Don’t think of a sandwich as a different product — think of it as a way for consumers to try our product without having to change their behavior. Most people eat lunch every day — but most people do not make a separate stop at a bakery to buy a loaf of bread. A sandwich is the ticket to get them to do this!
When we say “café,” we don’t mean “just another café” – but one that is built on the foundation of serving sandwiches made from the freshest, most delicious bread in town. Not mass manufactured, preservative laden, air puffed bread! This is . . . “Bread. The way it ought to be,” made by hand with local flavors baked in! Who else does that?!
Up until now, a really great sandwich has typically been defined by what goes inside the sandwich. Last time I checked, it is the BREAD that makes it a sandwich. America has been choosing sandwiches based on what’s inside, and settling for what’s outside — until now! Now you can have a doubly delicious sandwich, tasty inside and out, without having to compromise. Turns out, it is the amazing tasting bread that stops people in their tracks. Like a great wine that is selected to amplify the enjoyment of a great meal, fresh bread curated to compliment the right mix of interior flavors will bring customers back again and again.
And when they bring our bread home — magic happens. We let the bread do the talking! I have heard radio disk jockeys across the country try our breads and rave on and on about the most amazing sandwiches they have ever had. Can you imagine a two-minute rant about a peanut butter and jelly sandwich? We don’t pre-produce advertising to spread the word; we just give our product to the DJs and let them say anything they want! That is how much faith I
have in our product.
So this is your opportunity to own your own business in your town — and work as a family on your own terms. Open a small business that serves sandwiches where the outside is as good as the inside!
The magic of Great Harvest is not that we are a smashing success in the top five markets in the country — but that we are a smashing success in towns just like yours, with stores owned by families like yours, all across this country. The best part is: there are still plenty of towns left for anyone interested.
That is the American Dream. And that is why I am here. Let’s live this together.
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