I was really, really surprised to find that Great Harvest Bread Co in Oakland, Ca was part of a large franchise with many locations across the country … including Alaska and Hawaii. As of this post there are over 200.
They seem to keep a low profile about it. At most, there are fleeting links on websites to the parent company.
The company started in Montana in the 1970’s. The bread was “ made with pure-and-simple ingredients and wheat purchased from local farmers” They seem a bit ahead of their time.
What all bakeries share …
Fresh-ground whole-wheat flour (ground at each store)
Made from scratch
No preservatives or artificial additives
The stores share some common breads but the website says “Each Great Harvest bakery is an independently owned franchise and as such recipes may vary bakery to bakery.”
There’s a large variety of different breads such as Dakota, Popeye, Swedish orange rye, White Cheddar Garlic, Woodstock, Cinnamon chip, Peach Pecan, etc.
The breads change monthly. The location in Everett, WA has a more extensive list of many of the breads they make in addition the monthly bread schedule. This location also makes dog biscuits
Here are the bread schedules for my local bakery, Anchorage (Chugach rustic bread and Alaskan blueberry jam) and Honolulu (Lilikoi Bar and orange creamsicle muffins). Some are in pdf format
Each shop has its own specialties.
One of my recent favorites is the Woodstock, a dark bread chock full of nuts and raisins that is almost like fruitcake.
Here's my report on my local Great Harvest
Oakland: Great Harvest Bread Co - Christmas Swedish Orange Rye (limpa) and other holiday baked goods
I live in the SF Bay Area which has almost as many artisan bakers as Starbucks. IMO, Great Harvest Bread is as chow-worthy as any of them.