In the Hudson Valley, sustainability is a commitment shared by shoppers and business owners alike, with many operations taking the initiative to implement responsible sourcing for everything from raw materials to electricity. Our readers recognized Bread Alone Bakery for their decades of eco-conscious practices.
“Bread Alone has been committed to good stewardship of our natural land since we started baking with organic grains more than 35 years ago,” says CEO Nels Leader. “In recent years, we’ve put new focus on addressing climate change with our business. I believe that customers have seen consistent effort from our company for many years.”
In addition to composting all food waste at each of their cafes, Bread Alone is powered in part by a 196-kilowatt solar array on the roof of its main bakery in Kingston—that’s 664 panels, or enough energy to power 25 homes. The business is a member of 1% For the Planet, meaning they commit a minimum of one percent of annual revenue to environmental causes. “I am also very proud that we are an inaugural member of Certified Climate Neutral,” Leader explains. “This means that we reduce the carbon emissions that we can and offset the rest, now and forever.”
Sustainability is far from Bread Alone’s only forte. They also make a damn good sandwich, earning them readers’ choice awards in the Bakery and Grilled Cheese categories. “Our breads are made using organic grains and natural fermentation,” Leader says. “Altogether we create simple, honest breads and foods. In addition,
we try to create a permanent home for our employees where they can thrive and take pride in their work. We try to minimize harm to the planet with everything that we do.”
Leader says that when it comes to sustainability, Bread Alone is just getting started. This year, the original Boiceville location will be renovated into a climate-neutral facility that produces breads and pastries for four Hudson Valley retail stores and for farmers markets. “It’s an incredibly exciting project; our goal is to run the facility and bake all of our products using 100 percent renewable energy,” he says. “The planet demands action. The climate is changing at a terrifying rate, and the consequences are most severe for the least fortunate among us. Bread Alone has been driven by values since our first loaf in 1983, today we continue in that spirit.
When folks buy bread, we want to give them a responsible choice. Lots of small responsible choices will add up to the change we need.”