The nearest Great Harvest Bread Co. (<<click to go to Westerville, OH Facebook page) to me is in Westerville, Ohio and it is quite a distance to drive from Huber, but when I go into Columbus it is one of my stops, although it is not on the way there, it is a detour for sure and for certain. If you happen to live around the area drop in at 445 S. State Street, Westerville, OH and check out the bakery. Although, if you do live in the area I’m certain you are already aware and have enjoyed a loaf or two, or three or more, over the years.
Great Harvest Bread Co. has opened bakeries across the country, even in Alaska and Hawaii. In fact, none of our 50 states has been ignored, there are bakeries in every one! So, if the bakery in Westerville, Ohio is too far from your neck of the woods, no worries mate, you can go online at http://www.greatharvest.com/ or telephone 1-800-442-0424 to find a location nearest you or to place an online order to be shipped to your doorstep.
The company began when founders Pete and Laura Wakeman, opened the first Great Harvest Bakery in Great Falls, Montana back in the 1970’s. Well, sort of, it actually began earlier than that when, as college students, the couple baked some amazing — from scratch — whole grain breads to help pay for their tuition at Cornell University. The couple married in 1975, surely bonded by the raising of dough (sorry just had to toss that in there, it seems so fitting) and by 1978 had formed “freedom franchise” so others might join in the fun by opening franchises in other areas. The first (and second bakery) were Montana based.
As the word spread about the unique flavor of the breads made with “pure-and-simple” ingredients with wheat purchased from local farmers, which was an appreciated bonus to the local economy, their bakery business grew into what is today more than 200 Great Harvest bakeries throughout all fifty states.
The company is currently headed by Chairman Nido Qubein, President/CEO Mike Ferretti and a group of partners but the vision for the company remains the same in purpose and execution, although today along with fresh baked breads, you can enjoy other items on the menu such as sandwiches and my favorite — panini — plus they added full-service coffee and espresso bars thanks to a partnership with Peet’s coffee. The company also increased the variety of breads offered, to include European-style hard-crusted breads, which are — trust me — awesome.