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Building A Vibrant Community — Great Harvest Bakery

In this series of articles about Community Investment, David Kesling, owner of Great Harvest Bakery answers the question, “Why did you invest in Elkins and why do you continue to invest?”

There’s nothing better than the smell of fresh baked bread that reminds you of your grandma’s kitchen. That’s exactly what I wanted to replicate when I decided to open Great Harvest Bakery. Both of my grandmothers were great bakers growing up and it inspired me to open a from scratch bakery for the community of Elkins, which was something we didn’t have! We officially opened our doors last November in the middle of COVID-19, but despite those added challenges and protocols, Great Harvest is flourishing.

Great Harvest is a franchise based out of Dillon, Montana. I’d been watching them for years, and when they switched over to their bakery-cafe model, I knew I had to take the opportunity to open one of their franchises here. Even though Great Harvest is based out of Montana, the owner is actually from West Virginia! Before we opened, the franchise owner really wanted pepperoni rolls at the one and only West Virginia location because of his West Virginia roots. Elkins was influential in bringing pepperoni rolls to the Great Harvest franchise. They tested the pepperoni rolls in Pittsburgh, and now every Great Harvest across the nation offers them.

We couldn’t do what we do without our amazing staff! Our employees truly love what they are doing and enjoy the art of baking. We take pride in offering a great quality product to our customers and when they come in, we let them taste that quality for themselves. Everything is made fresh and in house. In fact, one loaf of bread takes roughly five hours to bake! Great Harvest ships us wheat berries that we grind into flour for our baked goods that we start making by hand every morning at 4 a.m. sharp. You can’t get that anywhere else! From our freshly sliced meats and cheeses to our dressings and sauces, you can expect that freshness.

Investing back into the community is what it’s all about and that comes in many different forms. We invest in quality products and countless hours of our time to give you a great finished product. Investing in the process and making it better day by day is what’s at the heart of our community investment. We have really exciting plans for Great Harvest in the future! We bought the rights for Great Harvest throughout the state and we plan to start a food truck to start working with WV Fairs and Festivals and our very own MSFF.

Great Harvest Bakery is a perfect example of continuing to invest in the community of Elkins to ensure a vibrant future. What impact will you make?

— Compliments of Tygart Valley Orthopedics, the Elkins-Randolph County Chamber has free copies of ‘Building a Vibrant Community’ available to those who are interested. Call today to get a copy of the book, or, better yet, to join the Vibrant Community movement at 304-636-2717.

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