Ouch. Got this email today from Rodd Hall, the owner of Great Harvest:
October 1, 2008
To My Great Friends and Customers,
I have made the very difficult decision to close the Great Harvest bread store in Whitefish Bay, effective today.
We'll be open for business just one more time, for the Richards School 3rd Grade "Baker For A Day" event, Sunday October 26, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., to benefit the Hunger Task Force of Milwaukee. I hope to see you then!
Finding conscientious and loyal employees has always been a challenging part of running this store. Over the past year it has become so difficult that it has just plain worn me out.
You know the people who work here have always been the best! I couldn't possibly be more proud of them. The problem is that I can no longer find enough of "the best" people to be able to offer you the kind of service you and I expect from Great Harvest.
As an eternal optimist, I've been fighting this decision for a long time, believing things would improve. The last straw was the recent last-minute decision by the Village of Whitefish Bay to close Silver Spring Drive during its reconstruction, a reversal of their long-standing promise to keep Silver Spring open in both directions throughout the project. I know from experience that this would be bad for an already suffering business district at any time; it will be devastating since it's happening during the holiday shopping season.
I'm going back to my first "bakery love", the reason I opened this store 18 years ago ... baking great bread. I'll still be baking, just not running a retail bread store.
So all is not lost. You will still be able to buy Great Harvest bread at the Pick ‘N Save stores at 4145 N Oakland in Shorewood and at 11300 N Port Washington Rd in Mequon.
I hope to add other stores to this list. If you can't buy Great Harvest bread at your favorite grocery store, please talk to the store manager and give them my phone number.
I'd love to talk with you in more detail about the store closing if you want. Please phone the bakery at (414) 963-9690 and leave me a voicemail with your name and number. I'll get back to you as soon as I can. And if you know anyone who might be interested in running a great retail bread store, please have them give me a call.
Thanks for 18 wonderful years! I'll miss you.
Ouch. Didn't see this one coming, even after reading this from Rodd last week. Great Harvest was one of the jewels of Whitefish Bay. Very sad day. Silver Spring is turning into a slow-motion car accident.
Hall mentions he will continue baking .. not sure if that means he'll continue in his prime spot, or find a new kitchen. I'll update that later.
Make sure you read:
- One less bad guy on WFB's streets!
- Solicitors DO NEED PERMITS
- WFB Picks New Trustee
- Grim Silver Spring Prediction .. a Local Merchant's thoughts..
- Bits & Pieces (New Engineer, Leaf Collection, Crime .. Fire)
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