Carrie Rengers

Flint Hills Spas owners to buy Great Harvest Bread Co.

Jamil and Lesli Toubassi will be the new owners of Wichita’s Great Harvest Bread Co. in the new year.
Jamil and Lesli Toubassi will be the new owners of Wichita’s Great Harvest Bread Co. in the new year. Courtesy photo

When Flint Hills Spas owner Dave Garretson once joked with customers Jamil and Lesli Toubassi about knowing a business they could buy, they wound up owning his hot tub business.

Now, the same thing has happened with their friend Tim Heeren, who joked about them buying his Great Harvest Bread Co.

“The joke turned … a little more serious,” Jamil Toubassi says.

As of Jan. 1, the Toubassis will own the business at 535 N. Woodlawn, which is just north of Central and their Flint Hills Spas at 6350 E. Central.

“After 21 years, I am done,” Heeren says. “D-O-N-E done.”

He says he’s going to develop 16 Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers in the South along the I-20 corridor from Marshall, Texas, to Jackson, Miss.

The 56-year-old says he’s going to get out of day-to-day operations and do “something more fitting my age.”

Still, he says, “I’m like, man, this is all my kids have ever known. This is over a third of my life. Blood, sweat and tears.”

He says the sale will be good for customers, him and the Toubassis.

“They’ll do a great job.”

Lesli Toubassi will be the face of Great Harvest.

“She’s a lot prettier face than mine,” her husband says.

“She’s really going to take this to the next level,” Heeren says. “Change is good, honestly.”

Jamil Toubassi says Heeren is leaving a great foundation, but he and his wife see growth potential.

They plan to add a full coffee bar in the first quarter and update the lunch menu as well.

“It’s more about optimizing the one location we’ve got right now,” Jamil Toubassi says.

He adds, “I would never rule out another location somewhere.”

Toubassi says he and his wife want to grow businesses in general.

“There’s no rhyme or reason, clearly, to what we do, from hot tubs to breads.”

Not that you should start joking with them about selling your business.

“We’ve got to digest what we’ve got,” Toubassi says. “We’ve got to catch our breath.”

Carrie Rengers: 316-268-6340, @CarrieRengers