Firebrand was born out of my determination to make the best damn bread possible while building a business that ends the cycle of recidivism and homelessness that's devastating our communities.
From my first job in a bakery at the age of 14, I was hooked on working in the food industry and fell in love with the craft of baking. Having a mom that had legal troubles and myself experiencing homelessness, we wanted to create an equitable workplace that provides opportunities to great people who just needed, in some cases, a first chance.
Started in 2008 Firebrand has grown to have 85 employees, two production facilities and a thriving retail cafe in Uptown Oakland. Firebrand serves over 250 wholesale accounts, delivering fresh bread and pastries from Sacramento to Santa Cruz.
People First, Purpose Driven!
With a record level of homelessness and a 69% rate of recidivism, Firebrand's mission is to help build back our communities through providing an inclusive, equitable workplace, providing good jobs for those with barriers to employment.Our holistic, wrap around service model, provides integrated programs for employee personal development and growth. Firebrand supports our employees’ growth to live up to their potential and become the best versions of themselves.
Through our Steward Ownership model, we have fully aligned our financial management, operations and governance around a set of 11 governing purposes that serves our employees. Providing profit sharing, open book management training and employee ownership, these purposes are embedded in our legal charter.
Removing barriers with Open HiringPut your name on a clipboard and we'll call you with a job opening. No resumes, no cover letters, no formal job interviews. Pioneered by Greyston Bakery, Firebrand uses Open Hiring to remove barriers to employment and evaluates people solely on their merits and drive to be part of our team.
We believe everyone is capable of greatness and through baking we can all rise together.
Oakland's only wood fired bakery
Firebrand is primarily a wholesale bakery, with 75% of our business through wholesale and 25% of our revenue through our own retail cafe in Uptown Oakland. We make damn good wood fired breads and pastries that are distributed through our own delivery network from Sacramento to Campbell and everywhere in between. We have a growing list of over 200 accounts such as Whole Foods, The Four Seasons, Verve Coffee, Red Bay Coffee, Google and Twitch.
Strategy for growth
We've just opened up our brand new 40,000 square foot production facility in Alameda Point with the goal of having 100 people at Firebrand by mid 2022. Firebrand is on a fast growth trajectory seeking to double our revenue to $12m by the end of 2022. To do this, we are expanding our sliced bread line down to Whole Foods in Southern California, have an exclusive contract with Guckenheimer food service, several copacking deals contracted, large purchase orders for our sliced breads and expanding wholesale customer base.
In order to help achieve this growth and increase our margins we are bringing on some key new hires. Recently we have brought on DoGood CFO's to help provide strong financial management. We're bringing on an experienced COO as well as adding a Logistics Manager to run our extensive DSD network.
Scaling the mission
Firebrand has ambitious growth plans to not only scale our business, but also our social mission. We have built an office for Five Keys to open our Worker Resource Center in November. The Worker Resource Center will be dedicated to providing GED classes, soft skills training, financial literacy training and a computer lab. Additionally Five Keys will serve as an important stakeholder, connecting employees to various community groups and service providers who can help support them around any issues such as: mental health, drug rehabilitation, housing, food security and domestic violence.
We hope this holistic approach to serving our employees will become a new model for employee support and development.
Firebrand is the community
Together we can help end the cycle of homelessness and incarceration that's plaguing our community. Together we can bring good jobs that lift up people. Together we can change lives. Join us in this journey!