Great Harvest Bread Company overcomes obstacles to open second Cedar Rapids location

The bakery will celebrate 10 years at its original location in October.
Published: Feb. 7, 2023 at 3:49 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) -The last few years have been tough on restaurants impacted by a slowed supply chain and rising food costs. But one area bakery has managed to open a second location despite this. Great Harvest Bread Company in Cedar Rapids has opened a bakery and café on Westdale Parkway southwest.

The family run business has wanted to expand since opening its original location on the east side 9 years ago. They’ve faced some challenges along the way and were finally able to open the west side location on Tuesday morning.

There will be fresh cinnamon rolls every day, that’s something that’s been offered on the east side every two weeks.

“We’ll be expanding the sweets and the pastries substantially over here,” said Dion Williams, Co-Owner at Great Harvest Bread Co.

The new café style bakery also comes with more seating. The menu also offers hot sandwiches.

“Opening this store is actually key to keeping us open on the other side of town because this allows us to double our bread sales,” said Laurel Williams, Co-Owner at Great Harvest Bread Co.

The celebration hasn’t come without years of difficulties, especially since the pandemic.

“We were meeting with banks at the time and they were going is this really the time that you want to be expanding to a new location? And we ran into a lot of opposition,” Laurel said.

And equipment ordered last March was intended to be delivered in time for a grand opening in August, but it didn’t arrive until late October.

“Also because of the supply chain, all of the prices of everything skyrocketed, much more than doubled for equipment,” said Laurel.

This meant opting for used equipment, some of which came in need of repairs. Meanwhile the cost of ingredients at their original location soared. Laurel says they went from paying $70 a bucket for honey to $220.

“Now you’re trying to stay open and your cash flow is going down in your base place that you’re using in order to you know open your second location,” said explained.

The family is thanking the community for getting them through.

“We’re just thrilled with the support Cedar Rapids has given us through COVID, the derecho, it was really truly, it kept us alive,” said Dion.

All of the challenges have made opening the new location especially sweet.