Saturday, July 12, 2014

Farmers' Market franchisee

I was talking to a baker at a farmers' market yesterday. My girlfriend bought the loaf of break pictured to the left and I asked about where the recipe came from for the sold-out apple pie bread.

I turned out it came from another baker within the corporation.

As loyal shills of this blog will remember, I do not think there is anything wrong with going to a farmers' market or buying from a local company; I just don't see it as a virtue or a way to make the local economy wealthier.

However, the activists that do may feel bamboozled when they learn that Great Harvest Bread Company packages its food and surrounds itself in the veneer of what appears to be a locally-owned independent company but is actually a national franchise - one that costs $55,000 to $90,000 to join and charges royalties that start at 7 percent.

So much for that silly "keep the money in the community" nonsense.

Now, there is nothing wrong with Great Harvest Bread Co., they have been around a lot longer then the snobby local food movement and the bread I had from them was great. They make a product people clearly enjoy at prices they are willing to pay. This is not a criticism of their business, but a nod to their ingenuity.

It only makes sense that large corporations would tap into the locavore movement and the farmers' market game, such as Sprouts Farmers Market. What's clever here is that Great Harvest Bread Company is slipping seamlessly into the markets instead of trying to organize an entire market on its own.

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