Vacay and survey

A road trip, sandwich shops aplenty and a questionnaire for millennials

My husband and I just returned from our summer vacation—a road trip through Oregon, Montana, Wyoming and Idaho to hit two national parks and explore some cool cities. Over 11 days and 2,500 miles we spent time in Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, Bend, Missoula, Bozeman, Boise and Jackson.

Between camping spots we enjoyed seeing bison, moose and breathtaking landscapes and walking up and down small downtown streets to scope out local bookstores, coffee shops and eateries.

In every town we tried to find the best local hotspot for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Inevitably, among the list of breakfast and lunch options, we came upon a locally owned Great Harvest Bread Co. If someone were to have compared our travel route to the Great Harvest location map, you would have thought we were on a national tour of the bread and sandwich shop.

Seeing so many Great Harvest locations made me eager to hit up one of Chico's three shops upon our return. And stopping by, I noticed all three locations—on The Esplanade, Mangrove Avenue and Forest Avenue—are under new ownership.

Fourth-generation Chico locals and sisters Julie Kampfen and Jamie Hughes purchased the bakery and café business from Wade and Shelley Overson late last year. The same friendly staff and scrumptious bread (the white chocolate cherry is one of my favorites) still greets customers, with the change probably imperceptible to most patrons.

The Oversons operated the business for 17 years and have now relocated to Idaho. I'll miss seeing Shelley behind the counter, but after driving through Idaho, I know that if she ever misses Great Harvest, she doesn't have to travel far to find one.

Chico's millennial makeup. As someone who was born in 1984, I have the distinction of being a part of the millennial generation, reserved for those who were born between the early '80s and 2000. According to an October 2014 White House publication about millennials, my generation is the largest in the nation, representing one-third of the total U.S. population and one-third of the domestic workforce.

With millennials representing such a large portion of the business community nationally and locally, the Chico Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals Organization has launched a Millennial Survey, hoping to get input from Chico's population on their feelings about living and working in Chico. The confidential, 17-question survey asks some of the basics, like household income and job title, but also expands to get more in-depth insights on what millennials most enjoy about living in Chico and what they view as an employer's most important feature.

As the incoming chair for the chamber—and the first millennial chair of the board—I'm close to this topic and intrigued to see the results. The survey is linked on the chamber's website ( or go to it directly at Results will be released publicly in a few months and I'll be sure to share the highlights here.