Scott McKee and his wife fell in love with Great Harvest Bread™ while attending school at Utah State University in Logan. After school, Mckee had moved his family to Vernal. Then in 2013, he decided that Vernal had to have a Great Harvest Bread™ Franchise because their bread is always warm and fresh. That’s when he set out on the journey to be his own boss.
After meeting with the franchisor that summer, Scott spoke with his bank and was sent to the Vernal Small Business Development Center (SBDC) for help with a business plan, where he met Mark Holmes, director of the Vernal SBDC. Holmes said, “McKee’s biggest concern back then was how to tell if the business would be profitable.” That’s understandable considering in today’s world opening a business means putting your home at risk along with many other personal assets. Holmes continued, “We went over the business plan and projected financial statements then I showed him how to calculate a breakeven point.”
McKee had more questions and did a lot more research during the following year. When asked what challenges he had overcome McKee said, “the biggest problem was the unexpected construction delays before the opening and inventory control after the opening.” But all the hard work and patience was worth it.
After receiving a loan guaranteed by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), McKee opened his doors on February 6, 2015 and promptly sold everything they had baked. A complete sellout of his baked goods continued day after day. To say that his fresh bread, cookies, and other baked goods have been well received by the community is an understatement. When asked the secret of his success? McKee replied, “we are in a really great community, and well, of course we have a great product.”
Not only is McKee spreading delectable baked goods, he’s also spreading the wealth with 16 part-time employees. Holmes stated, “we are in the middle of an economic slowdown here due to the cyclical nature of the energy industry. But even in the basin, small businesses like McKee’s, that receive support from the SBA and the local community, and provide a great product and employ people in this fashion, makes all the difference in our small communities.”