Juan Maldonado and Gisela Hernandez have owned their Great Harvest franchise since 2018.
The Great Harvest team includes, from left: Alexandra Pyron, McKenzie Moorehouse, Gisela Hernandez, Juan Maldonado and Hannah Soderlind.
PHOTOS BY GREG PERLISKICOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER
MAKING B R E A D Juan Maldonado and Gisela Hernandez lead a team of Great Harvest employees in making bread each day beginning at 3 a.m. • The edible part of wheat, the wheat berry, is shipped to Great Harvest locations from farms in Montana. It is then milled on-site into our. • Bread dough is made by mixing together our, honey, water and yeast. • Bread dough is then kneaded by hand and allowed to rise. • Bread goes into the oven to bake and be sold to customers that same day.
Great Harvest Bread Co. Owners of Westlake bakery appreciate long-lived community ties A t Great Harvest Bread Co. the art of making and selling a fundamental food like bread continues to resonate with those living and Juan deciding to buy the franchise in Austin rather than move back to Salt Lake City, where the two met. “I was just so happy to see all those children in line getting the slice,” Hernandez said. “I went back and told Juan.” BY GREG PERLISKI
working in the surrounding Westlake community. The shop has been located at the West Woods Shopping Center in West Lake Hills near the inter- section of Bee Cave Road and Walsh Tarlton Lane since 1992. Today, the locally owned franchise is operated by Gisela Hernandez and her husband, Juan Maldonado. The couple purchased the location in 2018 and have continued many of the store traditions, such as oering a free slice of bread to all who ask. “It’s funny, you’ll see a line of the kids walking from Hill Country Middle School to here because everybody gets a free slice of bread,” Maldonado said. “The other part that is really interesting is that you will have young adults that are Gisela’s and my age that come here and say, ‘I remember coming in here when I was kid, and now my son comes from the middle school and he gets his free slice now.’” Hernandez said seeing kids lining up for bread in Great Harvest bakery played a big role in her and
In 2019, the two decided to launch a corporate catering service, and to let the community know about it, they prepared sample boxed lunches con- taining fresh sandwiches and walked them around to people working in the area. Catering proved a growing line of business, averaging as many as ve catering orders per day until the COVID-19 pandemic. Navigating the past year has been challenging, Maldonado and Hernandez said. But the catering of classic and signature sandwiches, like their veggie three-seed hummus, has begun to pick up pace again with area business oces reopening. Now it is a good time to reect on what the team at Great Harvest has endured, they said. “We have been blessed. We have the right team, and when all that happened with COVID, we worked hard, but also we really appreciate the community,” Hernandez said.
Great Harvest Bread Co. 3201 Bee Caves Road, Ste. 126, Austin 512-329-9216 http://austintexas.greatharvestbread.com Hours: Mon.-Sat. 7 a.m.-5 p.m., closed Sun.
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