Friday, June 18, 1999

Knot a Bad Idea, The Ann Arbor News

Knot a Bad Idea
Baker’s patrons trade ugly ties for free loaf of bread
By Pamela Appea
The Ann Arbor News

Customers this week at the Great Harvest Bread story in Ann Arbor are feasting their eyes on more than bread and cookies.

Ties of all colors, sizes and less-than-pleasing designs adorn the walls of the bakery’s beloved life-sized cow figurine.

In honor of Father’s Day on Sunday, bakery owners and husband-wife team Dan and Janene Centurione will give a loaf of freshly baked bread to each customer who brings in an ugly tie until Saturday.

Janene Centurione said she came up with the idea for an ugly tie trade-in last year. She knew many fathers who received ties on Father’s Day that were, in her opinion, less than fashionable.

“We were trying to think what would warm the hearts of fathers, and we just thought it would be funny to see what ugly ties would come in,” she said.

Centurione feels the ugly tie trade-in will “help people give dad an interesting gift for Father’s Day by taking away one of his ugly ties and giving him some great bread.”

By Thursday, at least 50 people had dropped off ties, which are all worthy of winning an ugly-tie contest, she said. Last year’s Father Day ugly tie trade-in attracted 300 to 400 people to the store at 2220 S. Main St., in the Woodland Plaza.

Pointing out some of her favorite ties, Centurione said that many of the ties give her customers an amusing overview of tie fashions from years or decades ago. Her favorite ugly ties are the “power ties” of the early ’80s, the polyester ties of the ‘70s, and ones which she said she feels belong in a category of its own: a 15-year-old Australian tie that shows several koala bears holding flowers.

Many Great Harvest employees at Woodland Plaza have amusing stories why customers trade in their husband or father’s ties. Employee Becky Smith said one woman saw a tie in the store that she really liked for her husband. So she brought in another of her husband’s ties and replaced it for the tie she liked, getting a tie and a loaf of bread.

Photo Caption: Mollie Mintz, 3, trades a necktie for a loaf of bread at the Great Harvest Bread Co. in the Woodlands Plaza shopping center Thursday. This is the second year the company has sponsored the pre-Father’s Day promotion calling for ‘ugly ties’ in trade for bread. Last year, all the ties were donated for an art project. Lauren Foley, a customer service representative, makes the trade. Photographer Robert Chase, The Ann Arbor News

Originally Published Friday, June 18, 1999