The bakery that bakes all of the brownies for Ben & Jerry's hires anyone, regardless of their background or skill set.
For people with less than perfect credentials, it can be hard to land a job. This includes those facing a variety of challenges — lack of education or work experience, language barriers, homelessness, or criminal records. But one bakery in Yonkers has been helping New Yorkers overcome those obstacles with its open hiring policy — a policy it has believed in for 35 years.
The process is simple. Anyone looking for a job can walk into Greyston Bakery at any time, jot his or her name down on a list, and wait for a phone call once a position has opened. In 2016 alone, 176 individuals were hired this way.
“People come through the front door of the bakery and they put their name on the list. When we have a job available we take the next name off the list and give them a chance — no questions asked,” shop president and CEO Mike Brady told The Daily Meal. “[People] may not have any experience at work and they may just want to be getting their feet on the ground and move onto another opportunity, and we’re happy to enable that.”
While you might not know the business by name, you’ve almost certainly eaten its products. Greyston makes 35,000 pounds of brownies for Ben & Jerry’s every day for ice cream flavors like Chocolate Fudge Brownie, Half Baked, and Non-Dairy Chocolate Fudge Brownie.
While the Vermont creamery is a wildly successful partner to have, Brady says he’s more focused on his employees’ welfare than making a profit.
“We bake brownies to hire people. We don’t hire people to bake brownies,” he said.
But laborers end up falling in love with the work anyway. Celia Robinson landed her very first job as a baker at Greyston 16 years ago, and she’s been there ever since. Her experience working with brownies has even motivated her to one day open her own restaurant.
“I’m happy because people go to college to find out what they want to be. I came to Greyston to find out what I wanted to be,” she told The Daily Meal.
You can find brownies baked by Robinson and others recruited via open hiring in pints of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and also at Whole Foods supermarkets. For more uplifting stories and people doing well by others, check out the most inspiring food stories of 2017.