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.
Greyston Bakery Website
104 Alexander Street
Yonkers, New York