Detroit-Area Bakery Builds Community By Helping People Eat Well and Do Good

Avalon International Breads Prides Itself on Reflecting The People They Serve. 

This month Dawn Foods customer Avalon International Breads has a lot to celebrate. It’s Pride Month, and Avalon is an LGBTQ+-founded business where employees, customers, and visitors are always encouraged to be open about who they are. And, on June 5, the bakery that started as a single location in Detroit turned 24. Today, Avalon has 80 employees and four locations that serve all types of customers through their retail cafes, and wholesale and distribution accounts.

“Our co-founders, Jackie Victor and Ann Perrault, were very focused on a certain type of activism that builds community by creating the businesses and resources that community needs to be self-sustaining,” said Bekah Galang, marketing director for Avalon International Breads. “They started with bread.”

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That simple, life nourishing foundation has grown into a business that not only provides sweet and savory baked goods for local residents, but also stands as a safe place for the Detroit area, where employees and customers are encouraged to be open. “I think part of our success is that people see themselves reflected here,” Galang added. One employee echoes that sentiment; “They never want you to lose your sense of self here.”

 

The bakery also stays focused on maintaining its sense of self. “We use organic flour, which we get in part from Dawn Foods and stay true to our handcrafted bread baking methods. Artisan baking is reflected in our training, our products, and the people we serve,” Galang said.

The company lives by its “right livelihood business” philosophy, which means it has three bottom lines that inform every aspect of the business.

Earth, which drives them to use 100% organic flour, other organic ingredients when possible, local ingredients whenever feasible, and environmentally friendly practices.

Community, which means they support organizations and projects that create a healthier, more vibrant Detroit.

Employees,which underscores the brand’s commitment to the health and well being of its employees. For Avalon, this translates into fair wages, good benefits and an environment that encourages growth.

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Ironically, given the company’s steady growth since its founding, Avalon has never prioritized profits. Galang said, “We have always focused on serving our community. We have month-long fundraisers to support area organizations that help segments of our community that often go underserved, like Alternatives for Girls or the Ruth Ellis Center that supports LGBTQ+ youth.”

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Today, the business is winning awards for its famous sea salt chocolate chip cookies and celebrated turning 24 with a community bike ride. The Avalon-A-Thon took place June 5 and invited community members to ride through the city with stops along the way full of treats, music and birthday merchandise.

 

“We are definitely focused on growing but also focused on relishing in the small things that make our community and our business special,” said Galang.

To read about Avalon’s all-day menu or learn more about the business, visit https://avalonbreads.net/

You can also follow them on social at https://www.facebook.com/avalonbreads.net and https://www.instagram.com/avalonbakery/

To learn more about Pride Month and events in your area, visit https://www.glaad.org/tags/lgbt-pride-month