Great Harvest in Alexandria celebrates 25 years (courtesy photo)

Local business owners Brad and Megan Hurst are marking the 25th anniversary of Great Harvest in Alexandria. On Sept. 1, the bakery will offer free pancakes in addition to their regular slices for anyone visiting the bakery between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. In addition, there will be a local acoustic bluegrass band playing from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m to celebrate the quarter century anniversary of the neighborhood bakery.

The celebration will last three days from Thursday, Aug. 30 through Saturday, Sept. 1. The bakery will be hosting regular giveaways for special prizes throughout the three days as well as the opportunity to learn about and practice kneading loaves to take home during one of the six classes offered.

Great Harvest originally opened in the Fairlington Centre in 1994. Brad and Megan are the fourth owners of this location. “We are excited to celebrate this milestone with the local community,” owner Megan Hurst reflects, “We have enjoyed making new friends over our season at the bakery and look forward to celebrating the legacy of serving great bread as a neighborhood bakery over these 25 years.”

Great Harvest mills premium Montana wheat berries into whole-wheat flour multiple times per week to ensure freshness, flavor and maximum nutritional value. It’s the fresh-ground whole wheat flour that gives Great Harvest bread its rich taste, nutrients and heartiness. The bread also does not contain preservatives, additives or dough conditioners.

Daily bakery menu items include the signature Honey Whole Wheat crafted from only five simple ingredients: freshly ground whole wheat flour, honey, yeast, water, and salt; plus a variety of tasty loaves like Cinnamon Burst, Dakota Bread, Challah, Apple Scrapple and Pumpkin Chocolate Chip. Other menu items include cinnamon twists, cookies, muffins, and scones.

Originally founded in 1976 in Great Falls, Mont., Great Harvest has more than 200 bakeries located throughout the nation including Alaska and Hawaii. All bakeries are individually owned and operated, and no two are alike. Great Harvest is known for handcrafted breads made with freshly ground whole wheat purchased from family-owned farms. The neighborhood bakeries create an array of legendary fresh-baked breads and sweets, as well as specialty items during the holidays.

The Alexandria Great Harvest bakery located at 1711 Centre Plaza is open between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and until 5 p.m. on Saturday. For more information, visit alexandria.greatharvestbread.com or find them on Facebook as “Great Harvest Bread of Alexandria.”