Posted by: hepowers | December 3, 2010

Greyston Bakery – Socially Responsible Baked Goods

Christmas is close and my mind is wandering to visions of cookies, cakes and candies. On a whim, I searched the web for ‘socially responsible cookies’ and discovered a bakery in New York that goes way beyond organic ingredients and fair trade certification.

Greyston Bakery was created in 1982 by a Zen Buddhist meditation group with the intent to: ‘produce quality, locally made products that would give the group a sustainable, satisfying livelihood.’

It has grown to be a huge business with the refined vision of: ‘a Double Bottom Line with the dual objectives of job creation & personal development for local residents and financial support for the Greyston Foundation.’

This description comes from the B Corporation website which lists Greyston among their certified members. This earlier blog post of mine explains the rigorous process companies go through to be certified.

Located in Yonkers, New York, the Greyston Foundation receives all of the bakery’s profits and offers neighbourhood programs in housing, childcare, health and education and a community garden.  Their employees are not the cream of the resume crop ‘with backgrounds that include homelessness, incarceration, substance abuse, welfare dependence, domestic violence and illiteracy.’ But chosen from the local community, these individuals are trained, mentored and promoted which must surely be a life-changing opportunity for many.

The bakery line includes the ‘Do Goodie Brownie’ and they supply all the brownie flavours for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream line.  There are swanky corporate packages to order and individual gift packages sure to satisfy sugar cravings.

And it gets better: all of the facilities are LEED certified and built on a redeveloped brownfield property.

For socially responsible baked goods – Greyston is clearly a leader.


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