The wonderfully fudgy brownies that we use in our ice cream come from New York’s Greyston Bakery, where producing scrumptious baked goods is part of their greater mission to provide jobs and training to low-income residents of Yonkers, New York.
If you’ve ever enjoyed our Chocolate Fudge Brownie or Half-Baked ice cream flavors, then you’ve already had a taste of Greyston’s greatness. We first tried their incredible brownies back in the late 1980s, and we’ve been ordering tons of them ever since.
But out-of-this-world treats are only part of what makes this bakery so special.
Founded in 1982 as a social enterprise by aeronautical-engineer-turned-Buddhist-monk Bernie Glassman, Greyston Bakery is as committed to providing jobs and job training for individuals who face barriers to employment as it is to crafting award-winning gourmet baked goods. Ben Cohen and Bernie Glassman met back in 1987 and, a year later, Greyston began providing Ben & Jerry’s with delicious brownies for some of our most popular flavors. It’s like it was meant to be!
Thanks to their groundbreaking open-door hiring policy, anyone who wants a job at Greyston is given the chance to work, regardless of educational background, work history, or past social barriers, such as incarceration, homelessness, or drug use. There are no background checks and no prescreening of any kind—when a position becomes available, the next person on the waiting list gets it, no questions asked.
They have a favorite saying at Greyston Bakery: “We don’t hire people to bake brownies, we bake brownies to hire people.” Like Ben & Jerry’s, founder Bernie Glassman believed that business success and social progress go hand in hand.
A Certified B Corp, and New York State’s first Benefit Corporation, Greyston has become a role model for companies looking to do more for their communities. Profits from the bakery help support its parent organization, the non-profit Greyston Foundation, which provides child care, housing, health care, job training, a computer learning center, and more for low-income people in the community of Yonkers.
Over the years Greyston has brought thousands of jobs, and millions of dollars, to Yonkers. But that’s only the beginning of the story. Working at Greyston Bakery means that you’re part of a family. That same spirit is reflected in Greyston’s approach to the community.
Greyston employees regularly volunteer in the community. They host clean-up and beautification days, plant garden plots, and more. Greyston even opened a new housing development with 92 energy-efficient apartments for local working families.
All of which is to say, there’s no need to feel guilty the next time you dig into a pint or two of Chocolate Fudge Brownie. Those delicious chunks do more than delight: They make a real difference in the lives of thousands of people.
And there’s more good news for those who like their treats with a side of optimism: Greyston opened the Center for Open Hiring to help other businesses learn how to implement this groundbreaking, community-building, and life-changing program in workplaces all over the country.