Great Harvest Bread Company has graced the corner of Fifth and Main streets in Warrenton for fewer than three years, and, in such a short amount of time, it has become a fixture in our minds when we think of Main Street, Warrenton. Who is the person behind this business? I had a chance to sit with Pablo Teodoro over a delicious chai latte and fruit scone and learned about the man behind the bread.
Tell me a little bit about your family.
I have two sons, ages 27 and 23, and two daughters ages 14 and 12. Recently, I had a conversation with my youngest daughter. She has a stubborn passion that will serve her well in life, but at this time it needs to be channeled. I want her to know that she’s up against a few difficult years, and in the end I want us to still love each other. I also have two grandchildren, ages 3 and 1. They live here in Warrenton.
You have recently challenged yourself to 52 Weeks of Chick Flicks, what is that about?
I realized that I had become a little “crusty” (pardon the pun) about romanticism. I decided to spend the year watching chick flicks and writing reviews about their theme of love. The last two I watched were “The Notebook” and “P.S. I Love You.”
What is Pablo’s Love Speech?
In 2011, I gave a speech in front of the entire business community at Lord Fairfax Community College on the theme of love. Moments before getting on stage, I stepped back and wondered what I was about to do. It was too late to turn back though, I had nothing else prepared. It has since become known as Pablo’s Love Speech.
What is it about Love?
It’s the core of our business—love is what makes it work. If you think about love, it is difficult to define, but it has helped shaped more of history than one would think. It is in everything, everything that one is passionate about has love at its core, and that couldn’t be more true within the family.
What made you decide on opening a bread company in Warrenton?
Lynda, my wife, and I knew we wanted to open a business. So we made a list of all the attributes we wanted that business to have. On that list were the ability to work side by side, for our children to learn how to operate a business, and we wanted to open a place that people would enjoy going to–that they would leave happier than they arrived. We first considered opening a coffee shop before settling on the Great Harvest bakery.
What has contributed to your success?
The business community in Warrenton was a huge help. They were excited about us coming to town from the beginning. There is an enormous amount of energy on the corner of Fifth and Main streets.
Businesses support and help one another. Our business is a lot about relationships. Relationships are the one thing that I can’t stomach messing up. Relationships between our crew, vendors, business community, customers, and community at large are what make it all work.
How is the relationship between your family and the business?
It’s difficult to run a seven-day-a-week business and not have it invade on every part of family time. We struggle with communication time, quality time, and certainly uninterrupted time. The finances are also a strain since we are still in the early stages of the business. Our girls were here all the time at the beginning. Since we homeschool it was easy to do. As it turned out, they learned more working the register and interacting with customers in a few months, than they would have in an entire year at home.