An individual perspective of community
When I think of the Bread Workshop, I see a series of interlocking communities, and myself, through my role as Purchaser for the Workshop, as someone who strives to insure and nourish the health of these communities.
For example, the Bread Workshop itself, with all of its employees. Like any small business, as time passes it begins to seem like a typical and slightly dysfunctional family rather than a disparate group of people with hands out for paycheques. I helped to hire many of our people. I have worked with a number of them for years. I’ve developed a great sense of responsibility to help provide them with a satisfying job that they can use to support themselves and their families, and to also help them grow in their chosen profession.
Then there is the community of customers we serve. At times, I wish we did more than we currently do, and sometimes even forget to do. I’m conscious every day of how the decisions I make and actions I choose affect our customers. We are more than a café luring customers to our product. We feel a responsibility to our customers to provide smart, healthy, responsible food and drink choices that they will be both safe and comfortable with enjoying.
As purchaser at the Workshop, a third community that I interact with on a daily basis that the average person has very little direct contact with is the community of food vendors. Initially, I moved to the Bay Area to cook because I discovered the accessibility and attractiveness of the web of food growers and suppliers here. Through my dealings with all of these people, the ones who grow, the ones who deliver, the ones who do both, I have been able to practice the principles of sustainability that are at our core. They share my love of food and every chance I have to speak with them reinvigorates my commitment to good food.
Finally, there is the global, human community that we try in our own way to improve through our core beliefs in business, sustainability and healthy, creative and delicious food. One of the mantras for both personal responsibility and social action is to think globally, act locally. We as a species must be more conscious in our daily practice, and we at the Workshop are striving to create one model of how that can be done.
-sustainability coordinator and purchaser