HomeAwardsHospitality & Dining Innovator of the Year 2023 – Harvey Bakery and...

Hospitality & Dining Innovator of the Year 2023 – Harvey Bakery and Kitchen

Opened at the end of 2021, Harvey burst onto the hospitality scene and quickly seemed like it had always been a part of Oklahoma City.

Interview with founder Molly Grenier.

Why start Harvey?

Our bakery dreams started many years ago, soon after we opened the Hall’s Pizza Kitchen in Midtown. We loved the sweets case at Hall’s — focusing on house-made desserts that weren’t an afterthought on our menu. With this growing interest, we expanded the Hall’s bakery menu quite a bit, including brunch cinnamon rolls, cheesecakes and special holiday desserts that you wouldn’t expect at just a pizza spot. But we knew our interest in this area exceeded what would fit within the Hall’s brand. When pastry chef Alyssa Ulrich joined our team with a similar vision for a new bakery in OKC, we became even more excited to seriously explore what this could look like.

We asked a few different questions when dreaming and vetting the idea for what Harvey would eventually become  —  what does OKC not currently have or not have enough of? And what’s being done on a national level but not done locally?  We spent time visiting several “muse” restaurants around the country and honed in on what we thought would be a complement to OKC’s restaurant scene.  We knew we wanted Harvey to be located in or close to a neighborhood, but still easily accessible for a quick stop in.  13th and Harvey became the perfect spot.  

Have you been pleased with the community response?

The best part of creating Harvey has been watching it become more than we dreamed it could be. The neighborhood and community (near and far) has adopted Harvey and made it their everyday kind of place.  It’s hard to visit Harvey and not see someone you know.  Because of this, Harvey feels comfortable and friendly and like “your place” rather than ours.  We couldn’t love this more!

How do you think Harvey differentiates itself from similar establishments?

There are so many reasons to visit Harvey  —  coffee with a friend, breakfast, a place to get work done, a lunch spot, an afternoon cocktail spot, a place to grab dinner to take home and more.  Our Pastry Chef, Alyssa, creates world-class laminated pastries and you can see them being made up close as you walk throughout our space. We want our guests to see the process!  Harvey is familiar and comfortable, while also expansive and striking.  Our pastries, bread and food are excellent, but also warming and nostalgic. We bit off a lot  —  breakfast, lunch, pastries, bread, coffee, and it has paid off.  

How are you pushing innovation in your industry forward?

We’ve laughed a little at this question because we may be the opposite of innovative. We’re actually focused on getting back to what a restaurant should be  —  hospitality.  In reviewing the quick service model of hospitality — order at the counter and find a table — we’ve asked ourselves what would elevate that experience?  Hospitality is all about how you make people feel.  Our greatest advantage, and how we do this is with our team.  We empower our team members to take care of guests everyday — front of house to back of house.

What about your other ventures? And what are your future plans?

All of this started very simply 10 years ago  —  a food truck with a goal for paying Molly’s college tuition. We operated the Hall’s Pizza kitchen food truck for nine years and our brick and mortar in Midtown was open for almost four years before Harvey opened. We took growth slow, focusing on developing our leadership teams.  We’ll see what the future holds! We work hard to continually be working on our current restaurants, always improving our service, our hospitality and our products.  

HOSPITALITY & DINING INNOVATOR FINALISTS:

84 Hospitality

OK Cider Co.

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