n. the ability to sustain something
n. A means of configuring civilization and human activity so that society, its members and its economies are able to meet their needs and express their greatest potential in the present, while preserving biodiversity and natural ecosystems, planting and acting for the ability to maintain these ideals for future generations.
n. The property of being sustainable
Sustainability has always and will always be a pillar of our business. At Leo and Co. Bakery we promise to constantly look for ways to do better; for people and the environment. Sustainability is built into the cost of our products; and this is why we think it’s important for us to be transparent about what we’re doing and what we plan to do in the future.
At Leo and Co. Bakery we tackle this problem in a few different ways:
Most bakeries and food services will "over- make" their products to avoid selling out; but this means on days when they are not busy, they need to dispose of the extra food somehow- usually by means of a trash bin. To avoid this, we make everything to order! This is why we need 48 hours advance notice for all of our orders. This means we are not making excess products, with the hope that someone may come to purchase them. The items we bake have already been purchased and will not go to waste.
Due to expiry dates on ingredients, recipe testing and the occasional mistakes, there are sometimes extra treats and eats that we can’t sell. When this occurs, amazing organizations like Feed it Forward or local food banks come into play. We have agreements in place where we send all of our extra products to places like this, where they already have the resources to make sure someone in need gets food in their belly for that day. If we’re unable to get it to the organizations for some reason, we will even hand out the food ourselves, in the streets of Toronto where you can see first hand, the people who need our help the most.
The main cause for the increase in plastic production in the world is plastic packaging. In 2015, plastic packaging made up 42% of all non-fiber plastic produced, and it also made up 52% of plastics thrown away. Single-use-plastics frequently do not make it to a landfill or recycling facilities. A full 32% of the 78 million tons of plastic packaging produced annually is left to flow into our oceans; the equivalent of pouring one garbage truck of plastic into the ocean every minute.
When we started Leo and Co. Bakery we wanted to make sure we weren’t adding to this problem. We quickly realized if we were going to compete in the consumer packaged goods sector, we didn’t have many options for sustainable packaging. It seems this sector has a very small, if any, amount of eco-friendly options in terms of packaging. Even the packaging that is advertised as eco-friendly, when further inspected, seemed to be a very expensive, often greenwashing propaganda and in reality no better than the alternative. This is why we have chosen to go with a wholesale fresh method of producing our goods. This means that when we supply our goods to cafes, grocery stores and retailers, we deliver them in reusable containers that we exchange and sanitize with each delivery. Our goods arrive in sealed containers that keep them fresh for the retailers while not creating more plastic waste. This has proven to be a better alternative for us.
As the consumer market shifts and customers look to more packaged goods we are continuously trying to come up with solutions of how to compete in this market. We want to continue expanding our business and scaling, while at the same time sticking to the values we began with. Leo and Co. is diligently researching our options in the packaged goods environment and will choose the best option available when we are ready to proceed with the packaging of our treats and eats.
As well as our wholesale business, we are always looking for more sustainable options when it comes to our bakery boxes, tape and stickers. Our boxes that we send home with customers are recyclable and our stickers are plant-based, biodegradable and compostable. We are currently looking for better options for the tape and even the boxes we use, without increasing the price of our goods. We are always striving to be better, and we hope to be better in this area in 2021.
As a family of entrepreneurs we’ve realized from a young age how important small business and stimulating your local economy is. This is especially true during this unprecedented time. Leo and Co. bakery partners with local business’ whenever possible. We source many of our ingredients from local companies, butchers and farmers, creating partnerships that will create a thriving community of like-minded producers. All of our ingredients will always be free of GMOs and adhere to the highest of standards. 100% of our fruits and vegetables are organic, while 90% of our other ingredients are also organic. As we grow, we are looking to be a completely organic company and will always be looking to source better, organic, and sustainably grown ingredients. When sourcing ingredients, we also consider the packaging of the ingredients we buy. This means if we are choosing between whether a product is cheaper but comes wrapped heavily in plastic or a more sustainable, higher priced item, we will choose the higher priced item. We think putting people and the planet before a profit is always the way to go.
Leo and Co. Bakery is always looking for ways to help our local community and those in need. From donating profits of items to food banks and charities, to going out and handing care packages to the needy and homeless; our mission is to always be a part of a thriving, healthy and socially responsible community. Although we may not post all of our efforts to social media, we are always trying to find new ways to make a difference. We are always open to hearing ideas and feedback of how we can be of service to our community. If you have any ideas or ways that Leo and Co. Bakery might be able to help a charitable initiative please reach out to us and we will get back to you as soon as possible.