Portland, Ore.-based Grand Central Bakery (GCB), producing "responsibly" sourced and hand-crafted artisan bread, pastries and cafe cuisine, has become the first bakery in the Pacific Northwest to earn B Corp Certification.
The company was founded in 1989 in Seattle’s historic Pioneer Square before moving to Portland. The company 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.
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, GCB completed an assessment of its business practices, corporate governance, environmental and community impacts, and company culture. The company scored a 91.5 on its assessment.
Areas of social and environmental performance where GCB excelled, include:
- 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
- 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.
Certified B Corporations must renew certification every three years by showing how they’ve improved their social and environmental impact.
There are more than 80 Certified B Corporations in Portland, Ore., and about a dozen in Seattle, as well as 2,600 worldwide.