Great Harvest Bread Company Tours

Great Harvest Bread Company Tours – Review, pics and video of Great Harvest Bread Company free bread-making tours for kids at their Birmingham MI location.

Attention, Moms! If you’re looking for a FREE, fun, educational activity for your child, you might consider a tour of the Great Harvest Bread Company in Birmingham, Michigan (video below).

GREAT HARVEST BREAD COMPANY TOURS PICS

Tina, the owner of Great Harvest Bread Co. in Birmingham invited me and my kids to attend a tour of her bakery. Tina offers free tours to schools, troops, home schooled kids, mom groups, play dates, etc. The minimum number of children needed to hold a tour at the Great Harvest Bread Co. is 5, and they can accommodate up to about 25 kids. Kids attending tours at the Great Harvest Bread Company need to be at least four years old so they can reach the table when making their breadsticks.

GREAT HARVEST BREAD COMPANY TOURS VIDEO

When we arrived at the Great Harvest Bread Company, the kids loved looking around at all the big machines, the different breads, and the jams for sale. Then, Tina entered with a huge smile and was so friendly, the kids took to her right away.

The Great Harvest Bread Co breadmaking tour starts with each child picking out a cute apron to wear. This immediately gets the kids excited and feeling a part of it. Tina then begins her tour and does a great job keeping the kids engaged. She shows them how the Great Harvest Bread Co. makes their own flour by grinding the wheat berries. She shows the kids the machines they use and how they gather the wheat berries from the shaft of the wheat. Then Tina shows all the ingredients that go into bread. She gets them involved by asking them questions, rather than telling them the process. For example, she’ll give a description of an ingredient and ask the kids if they know which ingredient she’s talking about, or she’ll look at them and say, “Ok, what do you think happens next?” We all know too well how a bad presentation can leave our kids bored and their minds wandering. This was definitely engaging.

After Tina demonstrates the machine that stamp cuts a large slab of dough into rolls, the kids get to make their own breadsticks with the prepared dough. This is a simple enough task that each child does it really well, and feels quite proud.

Then, they place everyone’s creations into the huge oven while Tina throws out some interesting stats about how the oven can bake 500 loaves at the same time.

All the machines have names. Goliath the mixer, Oliver the slicer, Woody the table…the kids really get into this.

The Great Harvest Bread Company breadmaking tour continues as the kids watch how a loaf of bread gets sliced, how they use 70lb mixing bowls on wheels and gigantic mixers to prepare the dough, etc. While she cleans, she recites the book The Little Red Hen, and for the older kids, she talks more about the makeup of wheat and the scientific process of making bread. She even goes into the economics of running a bakery.

They get a goodie bag at the end with all sorts of fun and even some freebies. My kids looked at the colorful food pyramid sheet the whole car ride home. They even got a bag of wheat berries so the kids can plant them like seeds and grow wheat grass. I can’t wait to try some of that in my next smoothie!

I was impressed at how it was a nice combination of fun and educational, and Tina does a top-notch job with the kids. Also, the breads are so good! We couldn’t leave without buying a loaf of the pumpkin and chocolate chip cake bread. And, if I let myself go nuts, I would have left with the spinach and feta loaf of bread and a pack of the giant chocolate chip cookies.

There are 4 Oakland County MI Great Harvest Bread Company Locations. Birmingham location offers breadmaking tours. Call the other locations to see if they offer tours as well.

Great Harvest Bread Co Birmingham MI (1137 S. Adams, Birmingham, Michigan 48009, 248-594-0505)
Great Harvest Bread Co Commerce Twp MI (3376 E. West Maple Road, Commerce Township, MI, 48390, 248-926-9848)
Great Harvest Bread Co Lake Orion MI (1015 S Baldwin Rd, Lake Orion, MI, 248-391-5144)
Great Harvest Bread Co Northville MI (139 E. Main St, Northville, Michigan 48167, 248-344-4404)

(review and video from 2011)

For more info on Great Harvest Bread Company tours, visit www.greatharvest.com.