Great Brownies Building Great Communities: Meet Darren

The brownies we use in our ice cream come from New York’s Greyston Bakery, where producing great baked goods is part of their greater-good mission to provide jobs and training to low-income city residents.

Meet the Baker: Darren Peterson

Ben & Jerry's - Greyston Bakery - Darren Peterson


Time at Greyston:  

4 and ½ years

In Darren's Own Words:  

When I came to Greyston, I was in and out of prison. I had just came home from doing two years, and couldn't find work anywhere. A friend of mine told me to come down to Greyston Bakery— I came down, put in my name, and they called me about a week later. I've been here ever since.

First I worked at sanitation. I was there two years. Then I moved up; now I'm a mixer. The company trusts me— they walk away and you're just holding the bag for everything. There’s nobody looking over your shoulder. They know I'm going to do what I've got to do. I'm a shop steward here, a union representative. I'm the go-between for the workers and the management, so I'm learning about negotiations. It's real gratifying, especially when they need something done, and I can get it done for them.

My mom's telling me she's proud of me. My father, he passed, but I just got to be with him for the last three years of his life. When we would get to go to dinner, I got to take them out. So that was a good feeling. He told me he was proud of me. That was, well words can't describe that.

Before I didn't have much of a future, but now I'm looking ahead. Everything I do now, I plan. I have a bank account now, a savings account. I have a 15-year-old daughter named Jakaiya, and she’s an honor student. Everything is going really well in my life right now. I'm just at the point it makes me feel good that if she needs something, I can just go to the bank, or I can just say, "Wait 'til Thursday, payday", and I can get it for her. I feel like the man that I'm supposed to be: a real father. I feel like a real father now.