Grand Central Bakery is poised to enter its 30th year by becoming the first Northwest bakery to earn B Corp Certification.
Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.
“Our B Corp certification validates the way we’ve been doing business for years,” said CEO Claire Randall, a 25-year employee. “It also tells us where we can improve; we have so much room to grow, and with B Corp certification, we’re held accountable for that work.”
To earn B Corp certification, Grand Central Bakery completed a comprehensive and rigorous assessment of its business practices, corporate governance, environmental and community impacts, and company culture. There were several areas of social and environmental performance where Grand Central Bakery excelled, including:
- 59 percent of ingredients and supplies are purchased from independently owned and local vendors;
- 50 percent of management positions are held by women, and advancement opportunities are encouraged for all;
- All 384 employees receive 8 hours of paid community service time annually;
- Grants and partnerships with six local nonprofits focused on environment, immigrant rights and workplace equality; and
- Grand Central is recognized as a local industry leader in food waste reduction. Managers set goals, measure improvement, and train staff to meet company benchmarks.
Earning B Corp certification is a starting point, Randall emphasized. Certified B Corporations must renew certification every three years by showing how they’ve improved their social and environmental impact. “What’s great is that it provides a road map,” Randall says. “We’re already thinking about how we can evolve. It’s about making you a better business.”
As a B Corp, Grand Central Bakery joins a global movement of companies using business as a force for good, including Northwest companies such as Nossa Familia Coffee and B-Line Sustainable Urban Delivery and national brands such as Patagonia, Kleen Kanteen and Warby Parker.
There are more than 80 Certified B Corporations in Portland and about a dozen in Seattle, as well as 2,600 worldwide.
About Grand Central Bakery
Grand Central Bakery ignited a bread revolution in 1989 by introducing rustic artisan loaves to Northwest tables. Values are at the heart of the company and sustainability touches everything – from where the bakery buys ingredients to how it cares for employees and invests in communities. Founded in Seattle’s historic Pioneer Square, Grand Central currently operates seven bakery-cafes in Portland and three in Seattle, with a new location opening in Seattle’s Wedgwood neighborhood this fall. Its bread is baked fresh daily and delivered to more than 600 restaurants, food trucks and grocers in the Northwest. Grand Central Bakery was named one of 20 Great American Bread Bakeries and its Como loaf one of the top artisan breads in America by Saveur. Learn more at www.grandcentralbakery.com.