In November 2021, the Flint & Genesee Group announced the winners of the Art of Achievement Awards at a ceremony held at The Capitol Theatre in Downtown Flint attended by more than 450 people. Winners of these prestigious awards are selected from nominations gathered throughout the year. Last year, 16 awards were presented to businesses, hospitality professionals and community leaders for their significant contributions to the region’s success in 2021.
“I don’t look at Great Harvest as just a business. I love my employees, I love my customers and I love what I do.”
Scott Sassack, Co-owner
Great Harvest Bread Co., founded in 2003, was the recipient of the Small Business Award. Scott Sassack, who co-owns the business with his father, Bob, attended the ceremony along with his wife, daughters and two of the managers of the company. “I had no idea we would win!” Sassack exclaimed. “I was shocked.” When accepting the award, he invited his family and staff to join him on the stage. “It was a team effort – I’m nothing without my team.”
According to Sassack, the Small Business Award is given to a business in Genesee County that has less than 50 employees that has made a significant contribution to the area. Part of the Great Harvest mission is “to give back generously to others.” “That’s very important to me,” says Sassack. “It’s not just a business, it’s about being part of the community.” During the pandemic, there was a very high demand for products the bread company offered. With only eight employees, they worked diligently to meet the need.
In a three-to-four-month time frame, Great Harvest stores also supplied nurses, doctors and hospital ICU workers with 500-1,500 sandwiches. “Police, firefighters and EMTs could come to us for a free sandwich,” Sassack stated. The company also supplied loaves of fresh-baked bread to organizations including the North End Soup Kitchen, Salvation Army, My Brother’s Keeper and various churches. “What the Chamber saw in us, I believe, was that we were going above and beyond what was expected.”
Great Harvest has two locations – in Grand Blanc and in Flint at Flint Farmers’ Market. “We are a scratch bakery,” the owner explains, adding that it takes five hours to make a loaf of bread from start to finish. Bakers arrive at 3am to start the process. “We mill our own wheat every day.” The menu includes fresh-baked cinnamon rolls, scones and muffins, as well as a variety of sandwiches, salads and soups. “We make everything from scratch that day.”
At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Great Harvest Bread Co. saw a whole new group of customers who were looking for products that were not available in grocery stores, and they became regulars. And it’s customer service that is a priority for Sassack. “Customer service is my forte. I don’t look at Great Harvest as just a business. I love my employees, I love my customers and I love what I do.”
PHOTOS PROVIDED BY SCOTT SASSACK