• Title: Bread and Butter: What a Bunch of Bakers Taught Me About Business and Happiness
  • Author: Tom McMakin
  • Released: 2001-06-09
  • Language: English
  • Pages: 224
  • ISBN: 0312265913
  • ISBN13: 978-0312265915
  • ASIN: 0312265913
From Publishers Weekly With more warmheartedness and life improvement strategies than a month's worth of Oprah (TV, book or magazine), McMakin's guide to working well and living better is a potent and memorable read. A one-time Peace Corps volunteer and searching soul with a penchant for the outdoors (he once hiked 1,000 miles across Africa on a whim), McMakin started working for the Great Harvest Bread Company in 1993 and is now the company's chief operating officer. Great Harvest is a 25-year-old company running 140 franchised bakeries in 40 states. Making sure that each bakery buys its wheat from an approved quality vendor and freshly grinds it every morning are among the few rules the company cares about, and it shows. Barely two pages in and your mouth is already watering for a thick slice of the soft wheat bread slathered with butter and honey. McMakin mixes his own history in the company with a detailed examination of how its founders a pair of lovable but tough-minded hippies named Laura and Paul Wakeman developed the business their way. The maxims about the advantages of slow growth, always paying employees more than similar jobs in the area and not letting work overshadow your life are immediately applicable to just about anybody who picks up the book. McMakin's featherlight touch and buoyant enthusiasm make for such an infectiously inspiring read, in fact, that each copy should come with a label: "Warning: May cause an uncontrollable urge to start your own business."

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.



From In the 1970s, Laura and Pete Wakeman sold bread to earn money to attend Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. They later opened their own bakery in Great Falls, Montana, and began selectively franchising the operation. Since 1978, Great Harvest Bread Co. has grown to 140 stores with sales of $60 million a year. McMakin joined the company as its newsletter editor eight years ago and is now its chief operations officer. He explains why Great Harvest is a different kind of company. Franchisees buy into a lifestyle not just a business. The company's mission is to "bake phenomenal bread," but it also encourages employees to "be loose and have fun." Freedom and community are essential elements of the company philosophy. There is a "40-hour rule" that limits the time employees should spend on the job. McMakin tells how working at Great Harvest has changed his outlook and his life, and he offers encouragement and inspiration to others who are looking for simpler, more fulfilling lives. David Rouse
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