5. Greyston Bakery
Greyston Bakery got its roots in providing locally baked goods to some of New York City's top restaurants, but the business soon extended itself to become a socially responsible business with a "double bottom line" prioritizing "profits and social contributions," it says.
Based in Yonkers, N.Y., the bakery strives to be "a model for inner-city business development," including hiring and training people who have struggled to find employment, its Web site says.
The bakery's profits fund the Greyston Foundation's community development initiatives in low-income housing, child care, health services and technology education, it says.
"We don't hire people to bake brownies, we bake brownies to hire people. That really sums up the underlying mission of the bakery," according to Greyston Foundation's vice president, Jonathan Greengrass.
To do that, though, "you have to have a successful, sustainable business. We're a nonprofit that is run very much like a business," Greengrass says.
One example of its success is in wholesale merchandise. It's brownie maker to Unilever's (Stock Quote: UL) Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream.
Greyston is getting ready this spring to announce its next social enterprise business, Greengrass adds. He declined to discuss the details.
"The goals for the next three to four years are in fact to significantly diversify and expand the number of products that we make, and most of that will be done by co-packing for other companies," Greengrass says. The company is soliciting partners.