The smell of fresh-baked bread mingles with the spirit of community at Great Harvest Bakery Café. This delectable franchise is not only a culinary gem, but a testament to family ties and unwavering commitment to the Arvada community. Meet Micki Nelson and Aimee Charlton, the mother-daughter duo behind Great Harvest Bakery Cafe.
Aimee Charlton, who purchased the business four years ago didn’t just become a business owner, but a steward for her community. “I roped my mom, Micki Nelson, into the business,” Aimee laughs. “She used to bring me to Great Harvest when I was a kid, so when the opportunity to buy the bakery came up, it emotionally clicked. I had nice memories of Great Harvest, and I wanted to share that with the community.”
When COVID hit, Aimee reimagined the bakery’s role and figured out a new business model by opening as a grocery store, fulfilling online orders, and delivering necessities to those in need. In fact, their ability to quickly shift gears and pivot their business during this time earned them the COVID Hero Award from the franchise. The bakery also initiated the Community Shelf program during this time. “So many people were losing their jobs,” Aimee explains. “We wanted to help in any way we could.” The program allows anyone struggling to walk in, ask for a community shelf loaf and walk out with a fresh loaf of bread, free of charge. The community generously donates to this cause and any extra funds go to support local non-profits such as Hope House and the Salvation Army. “Give Generously” is not just a phrase at Great Harvest, it’s a mission and one that is taken very seriously. This can be attributed to Aimee and Micki’s background in non-profit work which just so happens to align perfectly with the vision of the company.
Great Harvest is best known for their Honey Whole Wheat Bread. The bakery takes pride in its café business, offering an array of mouthwatering sandwiches and salads that keep customers coming back for more. Catering has also become a significant focus and adds a touch of homemade goodness to every occasion.
Make sure to stop by Great Harvest on October 28th, for their annual Halloween Trail of Treats event where kids can come in costume and make their own cookies and trail mix and enjoy a variety of crafts!