Great Harvest Bread in Geneva to close

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014 6:35 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014 7:37 a.m. CDT
Caption
(Sandy Bressner – sbressner@shawmedia.com)
Great Harvest Bread Co. in Geneva will be closing its doors Feb. 1.
Caption
(Sandy Bressner – sbressner@shawmedia.com)
Ira Fortner, manager of the Great Harvest Bread Co. in Geneva, talks with a customer at the shop Tuesday afternoon. The business will be closing its doors Feb. 1.

GENEVA – Blaming a lackluster economy, competition and the ever-rising cost of materials, the owners of the Great Harvest Bread Company, at 13 N. Third St., Geneva, announced they would close Feb. 1.

The bread store has been there since the 1990s; Marty and Kim Kane have owned it since 2009.

“It’s a matter of the economy,” said Marty Kane, a Geneva resident. “I’m not bringing in as much as I have to spend. I can’t do it anymore. Taking care of my family is my priority. Business is down – down for a lot of reasons. It’s time to cut our losses and move on.”

Compared to a Walmart, a small-scale operator cannot get a volume discount on ingredients, he said.

“The cost of walnuts has gone up close to 300 percent. Nobody is going to buy a $20 or $15 loaf of bread,” Kane said. “When people are struggling, they’re going to buy it where it’s the cheapest.”

Kane said he even grinds his own flour for the 200 to 300 loaves he bakes every day. Even at $5 to $8 a loaf, his margin is down to nothing at this point, he said.

“Is is really worth it getting up at 3 o’clock every morning? No vacation in three years because I cannot afford to. I’ve got to work,” Kane said. “My wife and I are completely sad ... but I have to find a real job now.”

Kane said he spent 20 years in corporate marketing and he would try to return to that.

Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns said he is sorry to see the bread store close.

“Geneva is thankful to the Kanes for providing us with more than just delicious baked goods,” Burns said. “They provided all of us with a warm welcome and extraordinary service.”

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