Every day, we measure our success on the number of people who have a job creating incredibly delicious brownie and cookie treats. However, now that the new year is upon us, we can retrospectively enjoy other highlights that have unfolded in 2014.
As part of our commitment to bettering society as a whole, we continued support for Whole Planet Foundation whose grants to microfinance institutions in over 61 countries enables individuals to escape poverty through self-employment. We believe that individuals burdened with systemic poverty can and do attain self-sufficiency when provided a simple loan. This February and March we dedicated our time to advocating for Whole Planet Foundation and look forward to continuing to do so in the coming year.
May shines as a truly bright moment for Greyston in 2014! Dion Drew, Lead Operator at Greyston Bakery spoke at the UN Social Innovation Summit, an important event that included forward thinking leaders from around the world discussing innovative ways to solve social problems and develop a more equitable future. Dion’s inspiring success story captivated the crowd and broadened awareness on Greyston Bakery’s social mission.
May also marked the moment Our Cookie Thins line hit shelves and expanded the impact of our alternative hiring model. Baking Brown Sugar Blondie Crisps, Chocolate Fudge Brownie Crisps and Chocolate Mint Brownie Crisps created 16 new jobs! We are proud that a portion of the Brownie and Cookie Thins sales support Whole Planet Foundation. And they taste delicious, filling the hearts and stomachs of old and new Greyston fans! Who knows? Perhaps, 2015 will bring even more Cookie Thins flavors to Whole Foods!
Of course, our love of all things related to Whole Foods did not end there! We participated in their Feed Event in July, where an incredible display of like-minded companies shared missions, stories and products. It was refreshing and inspiring to exchange ideas with other businesses that believe in community education and empowerment.
Many of these companies dedicate themselves to healthy eating. Truth is, we love brownies, cookies and ice cream! Still, we know that healthy eating is a priority, especially in communities littered with fast food restaurants and cheap, empty calories. Greyston Foundation opened our 7th community garden this year. Each week, Greyston Bakery also provided our bakers with Greyston Bucks, a form of currency valid at the Yonkers farmers’ market. Our bakers and staff loved creating healthy recipes using our fresh, local vegetables!
The excitement continued! NBC’s Today Show filmed a special on our bakery, interviewing three of our bakers who shared moving stories about the power of transformation and social enterprise. Raymond, Dion and Margerite conveyed powerful and uplifting messages on second chances and personal empowerment. It was an honor to provide a tour of the bakery to the NBC crew and to share some Greyston love and pride with them!
In July, B. Corp’s Impact Assessment recognized Greyston Bakery’s overall impact on the community, bestowing us with the honor of B Corp Best for the World. Greyston Bakery scored in the top 10% of other mid-size B. Corporations in terms of community impact. This award has only strengthened our resolve to change lives!
As part of our constant drive towards environmental sustainability, we took part in the Climate March this past September. We marched with our Ben & Jerry’s partners and thousands of others taking a stand for environmental change. The incredible energy of the march was profound.
Finally, we had the tremendous opportunity to share our mission of non-traditional hiring through a TED @ Unilever event. President Mike Brady urged other companies and individuals to join the social enterprise movement and Dion Drew shared his moving story of re-entry into society and personal success. If you haven’t yet viewed the talk, check it out here.
We are grateful for an amazing year and for the wonderful people who fill our hearts each day. Thank you for making all of our successes a possibility. We look forward to another beautiful year!