Rexburg and Rigby’s Great Harvest stores are no more. The two locations have been purchased by Amy Romriell, owner of Mrs. Powell’s Bakery, and will be Mrs. Powell’s Bakeries when the stores reopen in late August.
Great Harvest has been in the Rexburg area for more than ten years and for a time was owned by Karl and Chris Peterson since 2015, according to the Great Harvest website.
“They just needed to make a career change,” Romriell said. “And I’ve known the Petersons for about a year and she approached me several months ago about the possibility of perhaps buying them out. So we bought the one here and the one in Rigby so they will both be Mrs. Powell’s locations.”
Romriell owns the Mrs. Powell’s Bakery in Idaho Falls and has been an owner of her establishment for two years. The business was once a franchise and the name has been around since the mid-80’s, she owns the last remaining locations.
“We specialize in cinnamon rolls but we do a lot of the same things that great harvest did,” Romriell said. “So we do breads, dinner rolls, sandwiches and soups at lunch. We have lots of different types of cinnamon rolls.”
Romriell has had a passion for baking since she was young.
“Well I’ve always been interested in baking, I’ve been backing probably since I was 12 years old,” she said. “And my mom taught me pretty much everything I know. I’ve always been known for bread and I’ve always wanted to have a bakery and never really thought that was a dream that would be able to come true. When we bought Mrs. Powell’s two years ago we had the opportunity to do that, we just decided it was maybe the right time. I was a stay at home mom who did some catering on the side before that. My youngest was turning 15 and my youngest didn’t need me as much in the past so I needed something to turn my attention to.”
Romriell said they’re scheduled to be opened by August 19 but she’s trying to open a week early if possible. She said they will have a soft opening and a grand opening later to avoid competing with the Eastern Idaho State Fair and the beginning of the next Brigham Young University — Idaho semester.
“I’ve been wanting to be in Rexburg for a long time,” she said. “When we first came into Idaho Falls I realized that I would have to expand if I was going to make a real success of this business. That one location just wasn’t gonna quite be enough to do what I want to do. So I’ve been eyeing Rexburg for a long time. This was just the right set of circumstances, the right deal, the right time for everybody involved so I’m super excited to be here.”
Romriell said that they are looking for new bakers.
“We really need some bakers,” she said. “From what I was told by the Petersons, was that they told all their employees that I was definitely willing to talk with any of them and see if they were interested in continuing [here] and nobody wanted to.”
The Petersons were unavailable for comment.
Romriell said purchasing both the Rexburg and Rigby locations were a packaged deal.
“From [Chris Peterson’s] perspective she needed to sell both together,” Romriell said. “Initially I was a little apprehensive about taking Rigby. It’s a smaller location it’s a smaller community and the response that we’ve had from Rigby is amazing, they’re really excited. I think that with both of these locations there’s enough buzz. There’s enough population base that wants what we’re doing so I think they’ll both be great.”
Both businesses are similar and Romriell said that will make the two stores transition from Great Harvest to Miss Powell’s Bakery easier.
“I think there’s a little bit of muscle memory issue, that people are used to coming here for baked goods, for sandwiches, for lunch and we do some of those same things,” Romriell said. “So I’m hoping I can convince them to try my cinnamon rolls as well as the lunch.”
Currently, most of the Rexburg location is cleaned out. Romriell said that they will be repainting the inside with blues and grays with black accents. She said they’ll reorganize the dining area and get a new sign for the front and organize the kitchen to their specifications.
“I’m really excited to be here and this is going to be a great partnership with Rexburg and Mrs. Powell’s and we’re gonna kill it,” she said.