Alvarado Street Bakery

Alvarado Street BakeryAlvarado Street Bakery has been in operation for over thirty years. Alvarado Street Bakery is located in Petaluma, California just north of San Francisco, with two additional locations in Mountain View and North Highlands, California.

Alvarado, founded in 1978, is a worker owned cooperative committed to using whole grain and organic ingredients.  The bakery has 118 worker owners.

Alvarado’s commitment to sustainability is evidenced in many ways, starting with its commitment to using organic ingredients, promoting soil fertility and biodiversity and eliminating millions of pounds of pesticides on thousands of acres of land. Their product is a healthy alternative to highly processed bread, and the firm is active in educating the community about the benefits of organic sustainable farming. This commitment extends to Alvarados production practices, including its LEED standard building featuring solar panels, low flush toilets, and employee showers to encourage biking to work (carpooling is also promoted). The bakery eliminates waste AND helps reduce hunger in the community by donating baked goods that are too large or small to local food banks.

Alvarado has created great working environment for its diverse group of worker owners, most without formal education. The bakery, which reaches out to previously unemployed individuals in its hiring process,  provides good benefits, including a comprehensive health plan, retirement saving account, extensive training, company paid ESL classes, and assistance with ongoing education.  Because Alvarado is an employee-owned business, worker owners are trained in reading financial statements.  The average employee tenure is a decade, and after that many of the worker owners have gone on to open and manage their own successful businesses.

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