October 10, 2012 - By Lance Farrell
Review Staff Writer
Looks like a Great Harvest for Orion Township this fall and beyond.
At 7 a.m. on Friday, Jim and Louise Westcott of Lake Orion will open a Great Harvest Bread Company store, the first bakery the township has seen for many years.
Situated across from Friendship Park at the corner of Clarkston and Baldwin Roads, the new bakery will feature items for breakfast and lunch alongside loaves of oven-fresh bread handcrafted daily.
On your way to work in the morning you can stop in for a cup of freshly ground Michigan-based Leelanau coffee.
Be sure to grab freshly baked cookie, scone, muffin, or brownie to complement your espresso, latte, or other morning coffee beverage.
From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Westcott's Great Harvest will serve nine kinds oflunch sandwiches. Both individual and corporate lunch or gift basket orders are welcome, and can be picked up or delivered to your office door.
In keeping with the Westcott's desire to support MIchigan businesses, other local products will be available at their location at 1015 S. Baldwin Road.
Preserves and jellies from Petoskey's American Spoon, Naturally Nutty Peanut Butter from Traverse City, and Cream Nut Peanut Butter from Grand Rapids will spread perfectly on the Westcott's Honey Whole Wheat. Dipping oils from Auburn Hills and Lapeer will be available as well, a complement to the nine varieties of breads coming from their ovens each morning.
The Westcott's have lived in Lake Orion since 1985, with three children graduating from Lake Orion High School.
They knew Lake Orion hasn't had a bakery in many years, and after getting to know the Great Harvest Company and using their business philosophy, the Westcott's made the decision to open a new franchise in Orion Twp.
Mr. Westcott said baking bread is fun, especially for people who haven't had access to Great Harvest Bread.
"I turned to Louise last week and asked, 'what's with all these bread people but there hasn't been a bakery in at least 40 years?'"
The Westcott's were attracted to Great Harvest because they are a "freedom franchise," which means that other than a few stipulations, franchise owners are encouraged to personalize their stores.
The Westcotts went out to the Great Harvest home office in Montana, and while there Great Harvest executives asked what could be done to the standard menu that is specific to the Orion area.
The Westcotts thought of the Lake Orion dragon mascot, and began to modify a bread recipe they accessed on the "bread board," a Great Harvest social network of sorts.
Their creation was a little bit of spinach, a little bit of parmesan cheese, a little bit of red pepper, and newly-milled Montana wheat —voila— Dragon bread.
There are 220 Great Harvest Bread Co. franchises across the United States, and with the Westcott's store set to open on Friday, there will be a baker's dozen located in Michigan.
With the spacious seating, ample natural lighting, music, free Wi-Fi, patrons will not want to leave the warmth and comfort they'll find at the Westcott's Great Harvest Bread Co. at Baldwin and Clarkston Roads.
"We encourage people to come in and stick around" Jim Westcott said.
The grand opening will be this Friday, beginning at 7 a.m. Regular business hours will be from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday, and 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.
For more information about the new Great Harvest Bakery, visit www.GreatHarvestLakeOrion.com or call 248-391-5144.