Great Harvest Bread Co.
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Vision Statement
Great Harvest People
Whole-Wheat Bread
Freedom Franchise
Our Learning Community
"Designing a Life"

Vision Statement

When individual bakery owners succeed and grow, the entire Great Harvest franchise family succeeds and grows. To support the success of our owners, we teach and actively model the mission statement of being loose and having fun, giving generously to others, creating strong and exciting bakeries, baking phenomenal bread, and running fast to serve customers. We believe our success comes from a strong commitment to uphold the legacy and integrity of the Great Harvest brand with its focus on the customer experience, and the promise of phenomenal tasting products made with freshly-milled whole grain blended with pure and simple ingredients. In short, we create, share, and teach the tools that bakery owners use to personalize their bakeries and achieve their unique goals within the context of the Great Harvest franchise agreements. Through the collective knowledge we share, and the learning communities we facilitate, Great Harvest Franchising, Inc., remains the envy of the franchise industry.


Our goal is to recruit the nicest, most generous, honest and authentic people we can find. We attract candidates who love learning for the plain fun of it, who see business as an adventure and an excuse to play. We introduce them to our learning community, which supports the entrepreneurial spirit and helps them TRULY run their own thing, make their own mistakes, have their own successes, and be 100 percent themselves.

Whole Wheat Bread

We love whole wheat bread. It's what made us famous and continues to endear us to a broader array of happy customers. That's because we think whole wheat bread, when it's made with fresh-ground flour and pure-and-simple ingredients, tastes incredible. There's just something about the way that nutty, rich taste of wheat combines with honey, yeast and salt that keeps customers coming back.

Freedom Franchise

If you look at most franchises, they began when some smart person figured out a way to make some money by writing down a recipe and inviting others to copy it. The great thing about these sorts of franchises is that they aren't very risky for the person joining the franchise. The business is, after all, proven.

Most franchises of this variety require their owners to do things their way, with little or no variation. Cookie cutter-style. That's because the franchisor is trying to build a national brand, the foundation of which is consistency. The problem with this sort of franchise, if you're an entrepreneur-type, is that they aren't very much fun. All the good stuff about opening your own business - figuring out what you want to offer and what color the walls will be - aren't your decisions to make. They've already been made.

At the other end of things is starting up and running your own Mom and Pop shop. There you have all the freedom in the world to create this thing just the way you want, but you're flying solo, with no one else to lean on. That's why so many start-ups fail.

We provide you with middle ground between the advantages of a traditional franchise and the fun of a let's-do-it-all-ourselves start-up. Our philosophy is simple. Let's create unique neighborhood bakeries that are a reflection of the Great Harvest brand and the bakery owner. We are no cookie cutter franchise. We are a freedom-based franchise that encourages excellence and individuality, not to mention a spirit of fun and generosity.


Do you want to become the world's next gazillionaire or do you want to have a wonderful quality of life? We expect every bakery to succeed based on the owner's definition of success. When bakeries grow, it means more people are eating great bread. But we don't love growth so much that we let it blind us to what we want from life or endanger the thing we've already built. To us, there is a balance somewhere between stagnation and chaos. It's called sustainable growth. That's what we're all about.

"Designing a Life"

Owning and running a bakery is about our owners making good lives for themselves and their families. It is not the other way around. Their lives are not somehow in service of this business. That means we expect our bakery owners to keep doing this thing so long as it's fun and makes their lives fuller. Not a minute longer.

Learning Community

When you open a Great Harvest bakery, there aren't many rules on how to run your store. Owners of each franchise do it their way, but within the context of a community of like-minded and like-talented and like-spirited owners. By connecting both bakery owners and franchise staff together into a learning community, we all profit from 200+ minds and 30+ years of experience. For example, a great recipe for trail bread invented in Minnesota flies across the system because it is so tasty. A promo tip pioneered by Washington, D.C.-area bakeries is quickly picked up in the Ohio River valley and the Northwest because it produces results. These free-flowing ideas keep us fresh. Bakery owners support the entire system with ideas and feedback. It's collaboration at its best. And it provides an amazing competitive advantage.