Based in Dillon, Montana, Great Harvest Bakery & Cafe established an eastern U.S. presence in Elkins and is now coming to Bridgeport.
Boasting all-fresh ingredients – including daily on-site milling of wheat berries for bread baking – the cafe opens at Marketplace along Route 279 on Friday, June 3.’
“It’s close to home – only about an hour from Elkins – and Bridgeport is expanding quite a bit. This location fell into our laps and it’s a great one, right between UHC and the FBI Center and we think there’s a need there. It’s hard to find anything quite like it. We are super excited to be coming to Bridgeport,” said Sydney Akers, daughter of owner David Kesling.
The cafe will open early daily – the drive-thru at 6 a.m. and the storefront at 7 a.m. – with bakery staples and daily specialties, sandwiches, and a full line of coffee products.
Akers described some of those fresh-baked goodies.
“We do Blueberry Cream Cheese Scones, which are more like a cake – very moist and not your typical scones, Savannah Bars which are like a cobbler; a coconut cookie crust with fruit baked on top,” she said. “All of our goodies are made fresh and we don’t hold them over to the next day. So, when customers come in the morning, everything has been made fresh.”
Great Harvest Bakery and Cafe also makes a variety of muffins, tea cakes – similar to a pound cake – and various cookies.
“Our cookies are bigger than your hand,” Akers said. “I believe in Bridgeport, we are opening with Peanut Butter and Snickerdoodle. We also do fudge brownies and cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting. All of our portions are very large.”
The cafe bakes bread daily – Farmhouse White and Farmhouse Honey Whole Wheat. The white flour is shipped from Montana, but the wheat flour is processed on-site.
“We have a stone grinding mill – a big machine that we dump the wheat berries into and two stones grind the berries together to ground the wheat flour,” Akers said. “The base to every loaf of bread is five simple ingredients: yeast, water, honey, flour, and salt. Honey is the sweetener and preservative used.”
Great Harvest Bakery & Cafe also specializes in unique sandwiches, also made fresh.
“We’re opening in Bridgeport with our Bacon Cheddar Beer Bread and other popular sandwiches are our Roasted Pepper Chipolte Cheesesteak and the Spicy Apple Bacon Grilled Cheese with mandarin orange pepper jelly, bacon, cheddar, and provolone cheese, topped with four Granny Smith apples,’ Akers said. “We slice all our vegetables, and make several different dressings in-house.”
Soups, salads, and a full line of coffee – including Capiccinos, Americanos, Lattes (hot and cold), and, of course, the house coffee, are available daily.
Akers shared how her family came into the business.
“Dad always wanted to open a bakery and he kept his eye on Great Harvest, which originally was just a bakery. When they switched to a cafe model, it sparked our interest and we jumped on it,” she said. “It’s a really cool company.”
Maddison Wagner will manage the Bridgeport store, but Akers and Kesling will alternate between the Elkins and Bridgeport locations. The Bridgeport store is 200 square feet bigger than the Elkins one, with a 2,500-square feet space.
There are approximatley 200 Great Harvest Bakery & Cafe locations across the Country. The Bridgeport store offers curbside service, Door Dash delivery, and orders through its Web site.