I have a serious sweet tooth and pride myself on knowing almost every baked good within my local Whole Foods Market®. And lucky me – the company I’m about to profile combines two things I dearly love – sweet treats and social missions!
Greyston Bakery is part of the Greyston Foundation. Located in Yonkers, New York, the Greyston Foundation is an integrated network of programs providing jobs, workforce development, low-income housing, supportive services, child care, after-school programs, tenant services and community gardens for individuals and their families to move forward on their path to self-sufficiency.
In a community like Yonkers, where 18.5% of residents live below the poverty line (compared to 14.5% nationally) and the unemployment rate is 11% (compared to 7.5% nationally), the Greyston Foundation provides a holistic solution to help break the generational cycle of poverty. They operate a profitable business baking delicious brownies and cookies for customers across the world, and all profits go back into Greyston Foundation programs!
Not only has Greyston Bakery given the Foundation the financial capability to run its programs, but the Bakery itself is doing its part to further the social mission of the Foundation. For over 30 years, Greyston has proudly maintained an open-door hiring policy, offering employment opportunities regardless of education, work history, or past incarceration, homelessness or drug use.
Anyone that comes to the bakery is given the chance to work, no questions asked; they become a part of the apprenticeship program and are given Foundation support to ensure the greatest chance for success in their new job. In 2012, Greyston Bakery provided employment opportunities and training to 181 residents within the Yonkers community. Watch this video for the story of one Greyston employee (fair warning: you may get tears in your cookies).
Whole Foods Market first partnered with Greyston Bakery in 2012 with the launch of single-serve Whole Planet Brownies (pro-tip: try the Brown Sugar Blondie flavor). In addition to supporting job creation at the Bakery, 2% of brownie sales go to Whole Planet Foundation®, which seeks to alleviate poverty through microcredit loans in 57 countries. The brownies can be found in most of our stores across the US – ask at your local Whole Foods Market bakery.
This year, Greyston Bakery created a new line of Greyston Cookie Thins, launching nationwide in June! Because Greyston is currently in process of receiving a Whole Foods Market Local Producer Loan, I got a sneak peek and let me tell you – these cookies are delicious. Thin, crispy and packed with flavor. They’re launching three flavors – Chocolate Fudge Brownie Crisp, Brown Sugar Blondie Crisp and Chocolate Mint Brownie Crisp, and 1% of profits will go to the Whole Planet Foundation.
Pick them up at your nearest Whole Foods Market, give them a taste and feel good knowing that you’re helping to create additional jobs and services in underserved communities around the world and in your own backyard!
Have you ever tried Greyston Bakery brownies? What’s your favorite product that gives back? Let me know in the comments below.