Great Harvest Bread Co. in Prairie Village to close doors after 40 years

Great Harvest Bread Co. owners Sarah and Brian Berlin

Great Harvest Bread Co. at Corinth Square in Prairie Village closes for good on May 11. Above, owners Sarah and Brian Berlin. Photo credit Juliana Garcia.

Great Harvest Bread Co. will close its doors at Prairie Village’s Corinth Square for good on May 11 after serving the Kansas City area for 40 years.

Why now? Like other small businesses, Great Harvest’s decision to close comes back to the pandemic.

Between continued supply chain issues and folks in the food and retail industries working harder than ever before, co-owner Sarah Berlin said owning and operating the bakery is now more than she and her family can handle.

Sarah told the Post on Thursday that it’s “gut-wrenching” to close this chapter of their lives after nearly eight years running the bread-making shop.

Great Harvest’s history: The Berlins took over Great Harvest almost eight years ago, but the bakery had served the Kansas City community for more than three decades prior to that.

Sarah and her husband, Brian, are the second husband-and-wife team to run the business.

Prairie Village’s franchise is independently owned and operated, but the company is based in Dillon, Montana. There are more than 200 Great Harvest bakeries around the U.S., according to the company’s website.

Sarah said taking over a business with such a long history — and 40 years’ worth of recipe archives — added to the pressure. The Berlins worked to honor the bakery’s legacy, and ensure flavors come through the exact way longtime customers remember, she said.

Hope for a successor? While she still loves baking and interacting with customers, Sarah said, she couldn’t see a vision for her future with the business. Still, she said she thinks Great Harvest is a potentially great opportunity for anyone up to the challenge.

The Berlins said they “would be delighted” if anybody was interested in purchasing the business from them to keep the Great Harvest bakery in Kansas City, Sarah said, and can contact the bakery directly.

Get your fix: The Great Harvest team in Prairie Village isn’t done just yet. Sarah said she intentionally slotted the closing date to be far enough out for customers to enjoy their favorites a few more times — and even freeze bread, if they’d like.

Not only that, Sarah said she will take special orders for customers who want an archived recipe one last time. Interested customers can call Great Harvest at (913) 381-8877.

Key quote: “I wish we weren’t closing, I wish we weren’t,” Sarah said. “I would love to have a duplication machine where I can clone myself and have about three more of me, and then I’d be super happy and we’d just keep on chugging. Everyone has come through this pandemic and taken a look at the priorities of their life and figured out what they want to do and where they want to go.”