Meredith Sumenek Leaves Financial Industry for Bakery

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Entrepreneur Hopes New Great Harvest Bread Company Will Support Local Food Producers

Great Harvest Storefront
It's extremely important to me that this business give back to the community by supporting local food producers and offering employment to people who want to build their skills.

For Meredith Sumenek, a highly engaging career has always been a necessity. When she realized her last job as a business manager in the financial services industry wasn’t as attractive as it once had been, she knew it was time to make a change.

“It occurred to me that I was in the fortunate position to start my own business,” Sumenek said. After researching her options, she decided to open a Great Harvest Bread Company franchise, known for its fresh breads, sandwiches, cookies, muffins and scones that are made using local ingredients.

“Great Harvest has a wonderful hybrid of the security that a franchise system offers with the freedom to make your bakery unique to your community and yourself,” Sumenek explained.

To finance her franchise purchase, Sumenek employed Guidant Financial, a company that specializes in 401(k) rollovers to fund start-ups. “[The process with Guidant] was surprisingly straightforward for what could have been a complex transaction,” she said. “If [an aspiring entrepreneur] truly believes in a business plan and has the opportunity to use 401(k) funds in this manner, it can help build an amazing foundation for a business.”

Aside from the individuality a Great Harvest franchise offers, Sumenek also based her decision on the ability to contribute to her local community. “It is extremely important to me that this business give back to the community by supporting local food producers and offering employment to people who want to build their skills,” she said.

Sumenek now gets the “thrill” that she craves from business ownership. “I hope to be in business for many years to come and to help others find their way as well,” she confided.

Sumenek’s new Great Harvest location, at 14244 Schleisman Rd., Suite 130 in Eastvale, will celebrate its grand opening this Friday, Dec. 5, beginning at 6 a.m. Free, hot bread slices will be given away throughout the day, and a ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. To learn more about Great Harvest and its delicious creations, visit, email msumenek (at)greatharvest(dot)com or call 951-533-5654.


About Great Harvest Bread Company
Originally founded in 1976 in Great Falls, Montana, 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. Check out their products and services at

About Guidant Financial
Guidant Financial helps people create the life they want through innovative small business financing. They are the premier provider of rollovers for business start-ups (ROBS). Guidant's services allow people from all walks of life the freedom to purchase small businesses and franchises using their retirement funds without taking a taxable distribution or getting a loan, in addition to offering traditional funding options such as SBA loans, portfolio loans and unsecured credit. Visit Guidant on the Web at

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Brooks Wallace
Hollywood Public Relations
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