I discovered Greyston Bakery through a school project I’m doing on Ben & Jerry’s. If you didn’t know already, all of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream that include brownies, (Half Baked, Chocolate Fudge Brownie, anyone?) are made by a special Yonkers, NY bakery. What makes this company special is their Open Hiring System, meaning that anyone who walks through the door is able to receive a job, no matter their background. Many of the Greyston Bakery employees are ex-offenders, have struggled with drug and alcohol addiction, or have experienced homelessness. The idea behind this is to ultimately end a cycle of poverty, in other words, they believe that it’s never too late to turn your life around.
Here is a quote from their website:
“Anyone that comes to the front door of our bakery is given the chance to work, no questions asked. When a job becomes available we hire the next person on our waiting list. During the apprenticeship period, our employees learn baking and employment readiness skills. And, we offer Community Gardens, Workforce Development, Environmental and Cultural Education and an Early Learning Center to create a truly thriving community.”
What stands out to me about this company isn’t just that they will hire people who they call “employment challenged,” but they will really work with their employees to make sure that they don’t go backwards by even offering services such as child care. There are a million reasons people can find not to work, and not to make their lives better: no one to watch their kids, knowing that no one will take them seriously, lacking confidence, not enough experience, etc. The list can go on and on. Greyston goes above and beyond to help ease these concerns by providing full time jobs (with room for advancement) that include health and dental for anyone. Additionally, profits from Greyston Bakery benefit the Yonkers, NY community (a city that struggles with poverty). I can appreciate this company because they’ve built a community that works to change the personal lives of their employees and also the lives around them.
Here is a quote from one of their success stories:
“Greyston has provided me with housing, a job, and professional development to advance my career. Even more, Greyston’s Learning Center and After School Programs have enhanced the educational development of the children in my family.”
– Deborah Stokes, Tenant and Enrollment Coordinator, Greyston Early Learning Center.
For more information of Greyston Bakery, please visit their website at: http://greyston.com/