Great Harvest Convention: The Fun

March 14, 2014

GHConvention We just returned from our fourth (Matt’s fifth) Great Harvest Convention, the annual get-together of the bakery owners. This year we returned to the beautiful Marriott on Marco Island – a repeat location of our first convention. The years in between we went to San Diego and Tucson, and next year’s convention will be in Palm Springs! Hope we can go :  ) Foodblog-4965 The Marco Island Marriott is just gorgeous and one of the best (the best?) resorts I have ever been to. The property is immaculate, the restaurants plentiful and impressive, the rooms (and toiletries) really high quality and the staff – absolutely the nicest I’ve ever spoken with. The only downside is it’s expensive, but that is to be expected, I suppose. But we would definitely consider going back for a family vacation some time. Foodblog-4967 To go from drab winter to this! KAY-5024 Vitamin D replenished. KAY-5011 We arrived on Saturday night and raced to get dinner before putting Mazen to bed after a long day of travel with almost no nap. Foodblog-4946 Foodblog-4942 We ate at Quinn’s on the Beach and enjoyed a gorgeous al fresco view, wine and some incredible food. Foodblog-4953 Matt, Mazen and I shared fish tacos, conch chowder and a big watermelon and feta arugula salad Foodblog-7 We were all tired, so we went to bed and saved our energy for the next day at the pool and beach. Foodblog-4966 Mazen has developed a fear of sand for some reason and it took a while to be able to put him down, but after a few tries he got the hang of the “toes in the sand” feeling. It reset when we went inside and came out the next day though! Foodblog-4983 That’s my cutie boy! Foodblog-4992 He learned how to say sand and ocean on our trip :  ) Foodblog-4993Foodblog-4995 Kiss mama! Foodblog-4999 Foodblog-5000 Foodblog-5002Foodblog-5003Foodblog-5006Foodblog-5012Foodblog-5014Foodblog-5017KAY-5019Foodblog-5023 While Mazen napped during the day (for a good two hours – score!) Matt and I traded time by the pool. I enjoyed a glorious afternoon reading The Light Between The Oceans in the warm shade. Foodblog-124448 In the mornings we went for lovely runs and walks in the sunshine, and in the afternoons, we played. Foodblog-145643 Foodblog-4981 Mazen jumps right off the side without a care to who is going to catch him! Foodblog-4973Foodblog-4975 Once the convention began Sunday evening we had less free time but made the most of it when we could. One afternoon we had deep conversations about marketing and bread quality out in the sunshine. This is Matt Salis, owner of Great Harvest Denver. He is the COOLEST of the owners and also happens to be a regular KERF reader! Foodblog-5094 Mazen learned that sand is way more fun if you have trucks. Thanks to the family next to us who shared! Foodblog-5099 There was a business side of convention – I actually did a presentation along with two other owners on taking photos of bread for marketing and how to use your phone to streamline the process. Foodblog-1

Jim of GH Lake Orion and Pablo of GH Warrenton. Also, Stitch Fix top spotting!!

I took this shot of Honey Whole Wheat a few years ago and it has been used in a ton of Great Harvest marketing materials, including this big screen at convention! Foodblog-5103 When we weren’t networking or splashing in the pool, we were dressed up for dinner on the beach. Foodblog-5088 Foodblog-5089 Foodblog-5084 Foodblog-5077 We had a glorious trip and I am even more excited for warm weather to arrive than ever!

Up next: Convention food!

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{ 65 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Anna @ On Anna's Plate March 14, 2014 at 7:36 am

Haha…our academic conferences are always in pretty lame places– definitely not resorts! I’m jealous of all of the sunny trips you’ve gotten to take lately!!

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2 Anele @ Success Along the Weigh March 14, 2014 at 7:50 am

Looks like you guys had a great time! So nice of the other family to share their trucks. Mazen is getting so big!

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3 Jess @ The Baguette Diet March 14, 2014 at 7:53 am

What gorgeous photos! I’ve been dying for a weekend away, neeeeeeed some sunshine and fresh air!

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4 Laura@SneakersandSpatulas March 14, 2014 at 7:55 am

Your arms look so toned in the pics of you and Mazen on the beach! Can tell those lifting sessions are paying off!

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5 Hope March 14, 2014 at 12:14 pm

I was going to say the same thing!! Your legs too – you inspire me to get back into it!

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6 Jennie March 14, 2014 at 10:21 pm

I was going to comment also. You look great! :)

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7 Ali March 14, 2014 at 8:15 am

That looks like a great little vacation!! I’m going to have to check out the GH Denver since the owner is so cool!

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8 Jessica March 14, 2014 at 8:24 am

Aw, gorgeous! Mazen looks like he needs a pair of baby sunglasses! My son has a pair but he wont keep them on very often unless he is in the stroller with the sun in his face. :P

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9 KathEats March 14, 2014 at 9:48 am

Have them and of course they were ripped off immediately :(

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10 simple green moms March 14, 2014 at 11:02 am

Our Little Man won’t keep his sunglasses on either! He is 18 months old and still hasn’t had his hair cut but Mazen’s looks adorable and it is kind of motivating me to get ours’ cut now! =)

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11 Heather March 14, 2014 at 12:19 pm

We even have the kind with the velcro strap and he takes those off too! I wish there were a pair that really stayed on. Mazen might be the same way because of his light eyes, but my son is super sensitive to sunlight!

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12 KathEats March 14, 2014 at 12:27 pm

I keep trying with hats too. He doesn’t seem to mind winter hats as much, but sun hats he hates

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13 Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy March 14, 2014 at 8:35 am

What a beautiful place for a convention. Some great family photos too :)

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14 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats March 14, 2014 at 8:38 am

oh my gosh, Mazen is adorable in these photos! He’s really turning into a little toddler!

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15 Philippa March 14, 2014 at 8:39 am

While I’m incredbly jealous of the gorgeous beach…although it is warming up in the UK now, finally (!)…I just want to say that I LOVED The Light Between Oceans! One of my top reads of last year. The minute I finished it I wanted to read it again! Are you enjoying it? :)

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16 KathEats March 14, 2014 at 9:47 am

Yes! Love it so far especially as a new mom

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17 Jackie March 14, 2014 at 8:41 am

I could definitely use a beach trip right now! Looks so beautiful!

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18 Lauren March 14, 2014 at 9:12 am

Kath, that Stitchfix dress looks AMAZING on you!! You’ve convinced me to try it :) Loved this post, Mazen is just adorable.

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19 Melissa March 14, 2014 at 9:12 am

Looks like fun! Where did you get that great black and white dress? So pretty!

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20 KathEats March 14, 2014 at 12:27 pm

It’s from Stitch Fix. I wrote about it in this post

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21 Elizabeth {Positively Healthy} March 14, 2014 at 9:15 am

Loving the pictures of Mazen kissing you! So cute! It looks like you all had a great time! Can’t wait to read more!

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22 Leigh March 14, 2014 at 9:16 am

Looks glorious! It makes me so anxious for spring!

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23 Leslie March 14, 2014 at 9:29 am

Love that gorgeous sun! And how nice that you had your new Stitch Fix stuff to wear too! (A friend of mine just got her first box. Can’t wait to see it!)

On a side note, my mom and daughter are in VA and ate at Commonwealth last night. They went straight from the airport (left our house in OR at 4:45 am->Chicago->Charlottesville) so I guess they were underdressed, but loved it! Thanks for the suggestion.

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24 KathEats March 14, 2014 at 9:47 am

So glad they liked it!

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25 Leslie March 17, 2014 at 9:02 am

She got home last night, missed out on Great Harvest because you guys are closed on Sundays. Next time! (She did take a picture of it though :)

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26 KathEats March 17, 2014 at 9:04 am

Aw bummer!

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27 Hillary March 14, 2014 at 9:41 am

You look so fit and fabulous!! Your workouts are clearly paying off :)

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28 Jeri March 14, 2014 at 9:43 am

Is it me or is Mazen already a hipster? Like the coolest kid in class! And I love the dress even more. I have decided that while I said it was an all season dress, this has got to be perfect setting for the dress. Evening beach wear. Ok I digress. Spring too. I can’t decide. So many choices.

1st choice.. lose the weight so I can buy the dress!

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29 Debbie Huber March 14, 2014 at 10:02 am

Thanks again for sharing your photography tips with all the Great Harvest family at convention! So glad you & Matt decided to come and enjoyed the resort. Hope to see you again next year in Palm Desert!

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30 KathEats March 14, 2014 at 10:27 am

Thanks Debbie!

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31 Hillary | Nutrition Nut on the Run March 14, 2014 at 11:10 am

looks like summer!

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32 Melanie March 14, 2014 at 11:54 am

Can I just BE Mazen? You guys are fun, awesome parents.

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33 kate March 14, 2014 at 12:21 pm

What a wonderful vacation! I was wondering where you got the black dress for the last dinner. It is pretty!

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34 KathEats March 14, 2014 at 12:26 pm

It’s from Stitch Fix. I wrote about it in this post : )

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35 kate March 14, 2014 at 12:40 pm

Awesome! Thanks!

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36 Alex @ Kenzie Life March 14, 2014 at 12:23 pm

1) The weather looks so gorgeous and sunny! 2) Mazen is such a cutie 3) As a native Coloradan who is now living back in Colorado, it’s cool that you met the Denver owner (I’ve never been to the Denver location but I have been to the Lakewood one), 4) I love the Stitch Fix pieces! 5) Glad you got a chance to get some sun and have some fun (I’m really sorry for the rhyming, it was unintentional)

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37 Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs March 14, 2014 at 12:25 pm

What an amazing venue — so beautiful!

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38 Lauren @ Focused To Be Fit March 14, 2014 at 1:36 pm

More beach pics….you’re killing me…I’m still looking out the window at snow. A lot of snow!! I’ve visited Marco Island a few times and it is amazing there! Looks like a great trip. :)

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39 Hannah @ eat drink and save money March 14, 2014 at 2:25 pm

We live in Naples! Wish I had run into you. You came during the perfect time before it gets too hot. Glad you had fun!

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40 jen March 14, 2014 at 3:35 pm

hi kath, great pictures! we have stayed at that resort many times over the years and we love it. i agree, one of the finest i’ve been to… i also love the coffee shop in the resort. for some reason, iced coffee just tastes better there. your pictures brought back some nice memories, thanks again for sharing. :)

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41 Jen@HealthyFoodandFamily March 14, 2014 at 3:36 pm

Ahhhh, glorious!!! I’m convinced Michigan is the new north pole. Definitely sick of sub zero temps and snow!

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42 Shel@PeachyPalate March 14, 2014 at 3:37 pm

Such a cool pic of Mazen with the water shooting across! They pick up words so quickly at that age, it’s amazing! Definitely need some time in the sun!

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43 Boo March 14, 2014 at 5:24 pm

So warm! Fun to see Denver Matt I remember him from living in Denver and it was a joy to go to his stores. I was a regular and loved every loaf/treat and miss it dearly since moving to Maine which is beautiful but lacks a great harvest :(

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44 Sarah March 15, 2014 at 12:39 am

Me too! I lived very close to the store and would go there as often as possible. Matt, his wife and all of their staff were always very friendly and almost too generous! And those sandwiches… I’ve returned home to Australia now and still miss them! You’re looking fit and fabulous Kath :-)

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45 carrie March 14, 2014 at 5:53 pm

Your arms look amazing! You are totally inspiring me to work out more.

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46 Debbie @ Deb Runs March 14, 2014 at 8:32 pm

It looks like you had a blast! I love the pictures of Mazen clapping. So cute!

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47 KELLY ANN March 14, 2014 at 9:06 pm

And here we just thought that Pablo skipped town to avoid the cold..

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48 KathEats March 15, 2014 at 6:14 am

Haha!

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49 Kiersten March 14, 2014 at 9:44 pm

Hi Kath! I am taking my son on his first vacation to Disneyland in June and am stressing about the sleep situation. Does Mazen sleep in a pack n play when you travel or hotel crib? Or with you guys? My little guy has only ever slept in his crib overnight and I’m worried how he will do with the change. Thanks for any tips!

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50 KathEats March 15, 2014 at 11:49 am

He sleeps in whatever the hotel has. .. usually a pack n play. He’s done just fine in them is he has his blanket. We put the pnp out of sight if possible (in the bathroom hallway nook at this resort) which helps him. If he can see us he takes longer to sleep

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51 Lisa McGeen March 14, 2014 at 10:16 pm

Lake Orion is my GH. How cool is that!!!

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52 Laura March 14, 2014 at 10:36 pm

Looks amazing! You have such a beautiful family. Baby travel question- do hotels have cribs that are newer? And crib sheets? I would love to see a berf post on what you bring for Mazen when you travel. Also what you bring on the plane to keep him entertained. I will be traveling with my baby by plane in July and I am really nervous for some reason.

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53 KathEats March 15, 2014 at 11:48 am

Yes we use the hotel cribs. Most have been nice. This resort had a pack and play.

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54 Emily @ Life on Food March 15, 2014 at 5:58 am

It looks like you had an amazing time. I am so jealous of all the sun and the beach.

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55 Livi March 15, 2014 at 12:52 pm

That dress is gorgeous! Looks like an awesome trip!

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56 Jennifer March 15, 2014 at 2:54 pm

Marco Island is beautiful! We used to live in Fort Myers and got married on Sanibel Island which is definitely worth checking out, too.

My middle son was just like Mazen and the beach sand. He wouldn’t step off the blanket ever. (haha) Now, he loves it. :)
I love the dress you have on in the last few pictures.
What a fun time for a convention.

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57 Angel7 March 15, 2014 at 8:56 pm

I looks like it is a beautiful resort! Anywhere with sun & sand sounds glorious to me :)

You got that right, Kath, about not being able to wait any longer for warmer weather! We are sooo vitamin d deficient from this blistery, cold, snowy winter! And I am not one to complain about the winter months, because I actually love the winter, & the changing of seasons. However, due to how long the cold & snow has lasted this winter, I have had my fair share, along with many other people I know.

http://faithfulsolutions.blogspot.com/

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58 Kerry March 16, 2014 at 4:01 pm

You said you *hoped* you could make to next years’ convention…was that a clue in reference to something?

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59 KathEats March 16, 2014 at 7:29 pm

Just that we have the money and time to go!

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60 Lydia Rehrman March 16, 2014 at 4:06 pm

That looks so amazing and warm! We are very sick of the winter here in Pennsylvania. Thank you for a taste of warmth in your beautiful pictures!

http://thehealthywaymama.blogspot.com/

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61 Ashley @ Coffee Cake and Cardio March 17, 2014 at 7:00 am

What a fun trip!! I love the community your business connects you with.

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62 Eliza March 17, 2014 at 11:04 am

Girl! Your arms look so ripped in those photos with Mazen on the beach! Way to go.

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63 Jo March 17, 2014 at 7:36 pm

Beautiful pix! I enjoyed 4 sunny, warm days in Vero Beach FL visiting a friend only to return to snow in WV – had to spend 40 minutes cleaning car in airport parking lot, UGH! Light Between Oceans is one of my favorite books EVER!!

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64 Carla March 17, 2014 at 8:10 pm

Holy cow, Kath, your biceps are jacked! Great job :)

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65 Wendy March 22, 2014 at 3:47 pm

Gorgeous photos! You are going to treasure those photos of Mazen forever.

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