I was driving to JFK the other day and heard this piece on the Greyston Bakery on the NPR show, Here and Now:
The company aims to hire the hard-to-employ and is known for its “open hiring” practices, where anyone can sign up regardless of background. All profit from the company go to the Greyston Foundation, which uses it for low-income housing, day care open to the community, a medical center for those with AIDS, and other community endeavors.
Bernie Glassman (an aeronautical engineer-turned-Buddhist monk) founded Greyston Bakery in 1982 to put some of his ideas about social justice into practice.
When I got out to LA I listened to the piece again and did a bit of poking around and found the Greyson Bakery site where I bought some brownies to try and found this incredibly moving presentation by Greyston CEO Mike Brady and employee Dion Drew:
Dion Drew really choked me up. Fantastic success story.
Unilever is a British/Dutch conglomerate that owns numerous brands, including Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Greyston Bakery makes the brownies that go into Ben & Jerry’s various brownie-infused ice creams. No doubt when the real Ben and Jerry owned and ran their business (before Unilever bought them), they chose the relationship with Greyston to further their own ideas about social change.
I’m an instant fan and will continue to buy Greyston brownies both mail order and from Whole Foods where you can buy them retail.