Great Harvest Bread Co. is, to quote co-owner Chad Smith, "rolling in the dough" headed into Dessert Wars.

Chad and Kristy Smith, who operate Great Harvest Bread Co. Grand Rapids, stopped by Channel 95.7's "Connie and Curtis" to share the scoops this morning. The visit came ahead of Dessert Wars, which is Thursday night at Amway Grand Plaza hotel's Ambassador Ballroom in downtown Grand Rapids.

The Smiths have owned the local Great Harvest Bread, located at 850 Forest Hill Avenue SE in Cascade Township, for about a couple years.

However, their Great Bread Co. is not like other locations for the Montana-based franchiser.

"We have the freedom. We can tailor our own environment. ...," Chad said. "What might work in Michigan doesn't work in California. We're a test kitchen -- one of three. ... It's a lot of fun. We get to try new things."

Great Harvest Bread Co. is among about a dozen bread, pastry and sweets makers from Grand Rapids and across West Michigan taking part in Dessert Wars, presented by Channel 95.7 and Hobart Corp. Running 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Amway Grand Plaza, 187 Monroe Avenue NW, admission is $8 and children younger than 9 years old are $2 with tickets available at the door. Admission includes 15 sample tickets, with a portion of the proceeds going to the Grand Rapids non-profit Kids' Food Basket.

Kristy managed Great Harvest Grand Rapids location before she and her husband purchased the operation.

"I came out of corporate America and now we're rolling in the dough," Chad said.

Groans and chuckles ensued to that comment, which Connie termed very "Curtis."

Great Harvest uses "five ingredients in every bread as our base," Kristy said. "No preservatives; no additives. We make it in our store."

The baking is from scratch with as much locally-produced ingredients as possible, an artisan endeavor that takes five hours per batch.

For Dessert Wars, Great Bread is considering bringing what it served up for "Connie and Curtis:" French toast bread.

"It stands alone," Kristy said. "It doesn't need to be ..."

Well, this morning, the French toast had cinnamon, raspberries and white chocolate on it.

In Curtis' words: "It's a powerful punch."

Chad and Kristy Smith, at left, the co-owners of Great Harvest Bread Co. Grand Rapids, visited on Channel 95.7's "Connie and Curtis" to talk about "rolling in the dough" and Dessert Wars. (Photo: Angela Paasche/Channel 95.7)