Great Harvest Franchise

Last Updated on July 26, 2012 by DeanR

Great Harvest Franchise

The Great Harvest franchise is for a bakery based business. It was founded in 1976 and started franchising in 1978.

The founders, Pete and Laura Wakeman, were studying at the Cornell University. They knew how to make wholegrain bread and decided to use this as a way to help them pay for their college tuition. They eventually got married in 1975. They went hiking in Montana and decided not to leave. It was then that they opened in Great Falls the first location on Great Harvest Bakery. It quickly became popular that they baked flavourful bread using wheat and other ingredients from local farmers.

Neighbors started asking how they can open their own location of a Great Harvest Bakery and in 1978, they opened their second location in Kalispell, Montana through freedom franchise. They became the first family iin the nation that operated and owned bakeries that were serving whole grain bread. They go by the authenticity of their products, camaraderie, and individuality as a foundation of their organization. It was in 2001 that the Wakeman’s passed the operation to the now Chairman Nido Qubein and President and CEO, Mike Ferreti. Ferreti formed the first Franchise Agreement Board. They now have 229 locations all over the United States.

What are the five simple ingredients that they use in their breads?

First is the fresh ground whole wheat flour. Second is water. Third is fresh yeast. Fourth is salt. Fifth is something sweet which is usually a local honey.

Why do they pride themselves with their wheat?

Their wheat only comes from family-owned farms. They say that the key to their phenomenal breads are the wheat kennels. They make sure that they know their wheat kennels by purchasing from the same family farms for over 30 years. The farmers know that Great Harvest test their crop every year for the moisture level, protein content, distinctive taste, and baking qualities. They look for wheat that is high quality that they have no need to use artificial dough conditioners. The farmers know that consistency in their wheat is the key that is why Great Harvest does the test bakes at least one hundred times.

Cost and requirement in running a Great Harvest Bakery franchise

You need to have a net worth of $350,000 and a total liquid asset of at least $80,000. Expect to be investing about $121,000 to $570,000. The Great Harvest  franchise fee is $35,000 with an on-going royalty fee of 4% to 7%. This is for a renewable 10 year term agreement. You will need about five to seven employees to run one location. They allow multi-unit ownership. They do not allow absentee ownership.

What is included in the franchise package?

There will be one week training at the headquarters, one week at your location, and two weeks at an existing location. You will be receiving newsletters, a toll free phone number, and access to a purchasing cooperative. You will be given access to the intranet, “Breadboard”. You will be given assistance in finding the perfect site for you with the help of their realty expert who will personally visit the site with you. You will also be provided support with the design and layout. For marketing support, there will be ad slicks, co-op advertising, and regional advertising.

Great Harvest Bakery Contact Details

You may reach them at:

Address: 28 S. Montana St. Dillon, Montana 59725

Phone: (800)442-0424 or (406)683-6842

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