Updated: It’s the end of an era for Bob and Crystal Carlson. After nearly 12 years as owners of the Great Harvest Bread (2218 NW Market St) on Market Street, the couple is handing over the keys to a couple passionate about bread. “It is really a case of ‘the right people at the right time’,” Crystal tells us.
Ballardites Mark and Jackie Winkler were some of the original customers of Great Harvest when the Carlsons first opened and have always thought about owning the shop. Six years ago the Winklers moved to the east coast but the thought of owning a Great Harvest Bread never escaped them. Three years ago when they began to pursue their dream, they landed at the Great Harvest Bread Franchise Office in Montana. At the office, the Winklers had inside information about stores that were for sale. One day, Ballard popped up on the report. “Oh my God, our dream store is now open for sale,” Mark tells us. “I know that Bob and Crystal weren’t actively trying to sell it, but they had had some inquiries and as a result it ended up on the list.”
“We never had plans to close our bakery,” Crystal says, “These guys just called us up one Sunday and told us they were in love with our bakery and that was their dream store and wondered if there was ever any chance that we would be willing to consider selling it or partnering up on another location in our territory. And that began a conversation that evolved into us deciding that it would be fun to try our hands at something new and let some new people love and grow what we had built.”
A few weeks ago the Winklers moved back to Ballard to run the shop.
The Winklers have plans to grow and change the Great Harvest on Market Street, but not for awhile. “We’re not going to be doing anything right away,” Mark tells us, “We’re just kind of gonna get comfortable with where we’re at and see how things go.”