Greyston Bakery

Yonkers, N.Y.
Website
Founded: 1982
Employees: 50
Revenue 2010: $7.8 million
Revenue 2011 (projected): more than $8 million
Greyston employees Ernest Mack (left) and Jose Molina

Greyston Bakery got a big break in 1988 when it landed a contract to supply brownies to Ben & Jerry’s, a relationship that has endured through Unilever’s acquisition of the Vermont ice cream maker in 2000. Today Ben & Jerry’s accounts for roughly 90 percent of Greyston’s business, says Greyston Foundation President Steven Brown, though he’s pushing to diversify with online sales, contract manufacturing, and a gluten-free line. Unlike most commercial bakeries, Greyston doesn’t hire experienced kitchen workers. Instead, it takes disadvantaged individuals from the local community and trains them in a yearlong apprenticeship program—completion of which makes them eligible to join the bakery’s union and receive benefits. (Its tagline is, "We don't hire people to bake brownies. We bake brownies to hire people.") Greyston Foundation, which owns the bakery, reinvests its profits and uses them to support housing and health-care services for homeless individuals and people living with HIV/AIDS, among other initiatives. "It really is focused on empowering low-income people in southwest Yonkers," explains Brown. —NL

 
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