Breaducation 101: Whole Grains, Simple Ingredients, and a Lot of Love 10

Draper’s Great Harvest 
combines phenomenal taste 
with superior whole grain nutrition

Freshly milled whole wheat flour. Filtered water. Salt. Fresh yeast. Idaho honey

Five pure ingredients is all it takes to create a loaf of bread like you’ve never tried before. And unlike most things that taste this heavenly, Great Harvest’s honey whole wheat bread is packed with whole grains, protein, and fiber, and it contains no processed sugar.

And even better yet? A whole lot of love goes into the making of each out-of-this-world slice. The bakery’s owners are husband-and-wife duo Jason and Natalie Pennock, and not only do they run the store together, they met and fell in love while baking bread.

A labor of love

As college students, Jason and Natalie became friends while working together at a Great Harvest franchise, both doing whatever they could to put themselves through school. Before long, they were married, graduating from college and moving on from their work in the bakery. Natalie started her career as a nurse at Primary Children’s Hospital while Jason used his landscape design degree. They had their first child.

And then Great Harvest came back into their lives.

“We received an opportunity to open our own Great Harvest store,” Jason says. “We loved the concept of the company. They have this mission of, ‘Work hard and play hard. Create balance. Be loose and have fun.’ It just spoke to us, and it was a great move for our family.”

For two years, Jason tirelessly researched, planned, and prepared to open the Draper Great Harvest location. Natalie continued to work full time as a nurse. They juggled parenting and other duties on the home front. And now, 11 years later, they’ve added two more children to their family, and the bakery has both fueled their passions and provided that balance they sought.

“We love getting up before the sun rises to have hot bread ready for our customers in the morning,” Jason says. “We’re doing something we feel passionate about. And I can be as involved in my home life as I am in the bakery life. That family/work balance was one of the big appeals to us—I have time to be with my family and make it to my kids’ soccer games. Great Harvest gives that opportunity to us.”

Bread is the staff of life

Jason and Natalie also love that Great Harvest’s breads provide a nutritious option for their family and customers, when so many commercial breads today don’t. Great Harvest is a true “farm to table” bakery, starting with wheat grown in the arid high plains of nearby Montana—a location known for producing some of the highest quality wheat in the world. Once harvested, the wheat is quickly delivered to Great Harvest in Draper, where bakers begin their day at 4:30 a.m. They mill the wheat fresh on site, and then after a five-hour process of mixing and rising and kneading and proofing, the warm bread is pulled from the oven

“The bread is made by hand, from scratch, every single day—like your grandma used to make it,” Jason says. “There aren’t a lot of places you can go and get that kind of quality, just down the street. And it’s made with pure, simple ingredients—fresh yeast, salt, water, pure honey, and whole wheat flour that is milled in our bakery so it has the highest nutrition count possible.”

While some have come to fear carbs and gluten, the health benefits of simple, whole grains are remarkable. And Great Harvest’s breads maintain all the protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals the wheat kernel naturally provides. Studies have shown that implementing whole grains into your diet can lead to decreased risk for some of the biggest killers in America, like heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and obesity. And a two-ounce slice of Great Harvest’s honey whole wheat bread packs in 28 grams of whole grains, plus five grams of protein and four grams of fiber to lead to better weight management and to keep eaters feeling fuller longer.

But at Great Harvest, it’s not all about nutritious bread—there are plenty of options for the sweet tooth as well. Think pumpkin chocolate chip bread, cinnamon rolls, lemon poppyseed scones and toffee-topped brownies.

The best thing since sliced bread

One thing the Pennocks didn’t anticipate about running a bakery is the role they’d get to play in the community—and in people’s lives. They support high school teams through fundraising projects. They’ve had troubled teens turn their lives around through hard work at the bakery. They donate to meaningful local causes. They even had a pair of employees fall in love and get married.

Jason and Holly feel privileged to have been able to make an impact in the lives of so many employees and members of the community. But, more importantly, the Pennocks say they’ve grown and been touched by the many relationships they’ve developed at the bakery—and through the need they’re filling in the community.

“When you are intertwined with these people, you want to make a better place for them,” says Holly. “I’ll never forget the first couple days we were open. You work so hard and don’t know how it’ll go. But we had a line out the door, and we were sold out every day. It was that payoff of, ‘Oh, these people want what we have!’ You get this feeling of excitement. It’s very rewarding to see people want something you’ve put your heart and soul into.”