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Gourmet Do-Good Brownies

Greyston Bakery is a Social Enterprise

— January 30, 2011 — Social Good
Greyston Bakery, located just north of New York City in Yonkers, New York is a social enterprise and bakery that has been around since 1982—almost thirty years. The bakery was founded by Bernard Tetsugen Glassman, the leader of a Zen Buddhist meditation group. The specialty at Greyston Bakery is, without a doubt, its “Do-Goodie” brownies. What’s more, they’re famous for providing Ben & Jerry’s with their brownies. They also have award-winning gluten-free baked goods and various yummy treats like banana bread, chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal raisin cookies and banana nut muffins.

The most innovative thing about Greyston Bakery, though, has nothing to do with food. Its open-hiring policy means that men and women who have experienced domestic violence, incarceration, welfare dependency, incarceration and/or homelessness are given an opportunity to work in the bakery, no matter what their background, work or life history. Greyston Bakery serves over 2200 people a year with its 120 staff and $13 million budget.

All of Greyston Bakery’s profits go to the Greyston Foundation, which is an umbrella foundation for a variety of services and outreach programs. Some of what the foundation does includes a community gardens project, health and social services, permanent housing and support services for those who used to be homeless, as well as people living with HIV/AIDS, childcare and children’s activities, and a technology learning center. Furthermore, all of Greyston Bakery’s facilities are LEED certified, which means that their buildings are sustainable.

One of their slogans is “We don’t hire people to bake brownies. We bake brownies to hire people.” And that says it all. By focusing on the Double Bottom Line, Greyston Bakery strives not only to create jobs, but work on personal development for those in the community.

Contact Information:
Greyston Bakery Website
104 Alexander Street
Yonkers, New York
10701
United States
Telephone: 914-375-1510
Toll-Free: 800-289-2253
Fax: 914-375-1514
Trend Themes
1. Social Enterprise Bakeries - Social enterprise bakeries like Greyston Bakery are disrupting the traditional business model by combining a profit-making venture with a social mission, providing employment opportunities to marginalized individuals.
2. Open Hiring Policy - The open hiring policy implemented by Greyston Bakery is an innovative approach to addressing societal issues such as homelessness and incarceration by giving equal employment opportunities to individuals regardless of their background or life history.
3. Sustainable Food Production - With LEED certified facilities, Greyston Bakery showcases the trend of sustainable food production, highlighting the importance of environmentally friendly practices in the industry.
Industry Implications
1. Food and Beverage - The food and beverage industry can benefit from the disruption caused by social enterprise bakeries, as it allows for a unique selling proposition and appeals to socially conscious consumers.
2. Social Services - The implementation of open hiring policies in social services organizations has the potential to provide employment opportunities and support to individuals facing challenges such as homelessness or incarceration.
3. Nonprofit Organizations - Nonprofit organizations involved in community development, such as the Greyston Foundation, can explore the disruptive potential of social enterprise bakeries to create sustainable revenue streams for their social programs.
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