One of the few positives of COVID-19 has been a renewed appreciation of bread, and it is under those propitious circumstances that Dallas-Fort Worth gets a new location of Great Harvest Bread Company, a bakery-restaurant chain based in Montana which is opening its newest store in north Fort Worth.
The cafe will open at the Alliance Town Center at 9409 Sage Meadow Trail #101, in what used to be a location of Muggles Shakes, a (poorly named) frozen yogurt chain that closed all three DFW stores in late June.
It will be the fourth Great Harvest in DFW, and is from Jon and Bonnie McCabe and their daughter, Lauren, who also own the Great Harvest on SH114 in Southlake (the other two are in Frisco and in Fort Worth on West Magnolia Avenue).
Lauren says that they're aiming to be open by January, possibly sooner, fingers crossed.
Great Harvest was founded in the mid-70s as an independent bakery in Montana, where it is still headquartered. Today there are more than 200 Great Harvest bakery and cafe franchises across the U.S., mostly in smaller towns or suburban areas surrounding big cities.
They make whole grain breads on site and also have a cafe with sandwiches, plus an espresso and coffee bar. The menu can vary from location to location, with sandwiches such as spicy apple bacon rilled cheese, roasted pepper chipotle cheeseSteak, Cubano, and veggie-hummus, plus entree salads such as Cobb and sesame chicken.
Their breads are softer than the crusty European-style, and with the incorporatio of honey, are also sweeter — more in sync with the style of bread that Dallas-Fort Worth is accustomed to. Dallas-Fort Worth does not always like hard crust.
Great Harvest definitely takes an artisanal approach right down to milling the wheat on site for the breads they bake.
"We get wheat berries from a farm in Montana and we have a mill at back of our bakery," Lauren says. "We use the wheat flour within two days of milling, so it's all very fresh."
Their prototypical bread is their five-ingredient Honey Whole Wheat, but Lauren says the bestseller is Cinnamon Chip, which is a light wheat bread speckled with little melty cinnamon chips.
"The chips are shaped like a chocolate chip but it's cinnamon instead of chocolate, mixed throughout the bread," Lauren says. "It's a great breakfast bread and wonderful for French toast."
Other goodies include biscuits, buns, breakfast sandwiches, muffins, scones, cookies, and bars, plus granola, pancake mix, and dog biscuits.
Lauren and her family started out as customers before taking over the Southlake shop in April from original owners Bob and Colleen Gothman.
"They opened it four years ago and wanted to sell right when my family became interested in opening a location," she says. "We've always loved the Great Harvest, and it's been a joy to delve into bread-baking. We're glad that during the pandemic, we could come in and provide bread and sandwiches to people during this time."
Stephanie Allmon Merry contributed to this story.