New York Bakery Goes Net-Zero Energy

Bread Alone, a Certified Climate Neutral company, has installed a 366kW on-site solar array to power its 8,000 square foot facility in the Catskill Mountains region.

Bread Alone Bakery, a family-owned bakery in New York State, recently announced the re-opening of its Boiceville Bakery & Cafe. A revitalization of Bread Alone’s original bakery that first opened its doors in Boiceville, NY in 1983, this location reopens as an 8,000-square-foot net-zero energy facility and the first known commercial bakery in the U.S. to operate on 100% renewable energy, without fossil fuels. The facility, which will serve as both a commercial bakery and cafe, will supply Bread Alone’s four Hudson Valley cafes, as well as its New York City farmer’s markets.

net-zero energy
In Boiceville, NY, Bread Alone Bakery has reopened as a net zero energy operation. (Photo: James Chororos_Bread Alone)

A 366kW on-site solar array allows the bakery to renewably produce (net) all energy on-site that they consume. This renewable energy is being used to power the fully electrified building: Heuft electric ovens, induction stovetops, air source heat pumps, and engineered air flow. In addition to the Heuft ovens, the bakery will bake breads in the original Andre Lefort wood-fired brick ovens, fueled by renewable scrap wood.

“The planet is warming and the consequences are real, especially for the least fortunate among us,” said Nels Leader, Chief Executive Officer and founding family member of Bread Alone. “This net-zero, carbon neutral project is a response to the call for action, and we hope it is an inspiration to others to take actions of their own. Bread Alone has committed to the simple but ambitious purpose of creating equity for our people and minimizing harm to the planet. This project is an exciting milestone in pursuit of our purpose.”

Reopening its doors in the heart of the Catskills, the net-zero bakery and cafe is Bread Alone’s biggest step to date on their aggressive trajectory to prioritize stewardship of the planet in every decision and process. The completion of the net-zero energy facility follows Bread Alone’s installation of solar panels on its Kingston Headquarters, the establishment of a long-standing partnership with 1% for the Planet and Climate Reality Project, and becoming Certified Climate Neutral.

net-zero energy
Photo: James Chororos_Bread Alone

Through its new bakery and cafe, Bread Alone will continue to celebrate its roots and the art of traditional baking while supporting regional organic agriculture. Originally founded with the mission of connecting to land and nature as well as the local Catskills community, the Boiceville location will bake with grain that is grown and milled in the region, and will cook with ingredients from regional producers. Their Kingston Headquarters will continue to produce organic breads for wholesale distribution across the Northeast region.

“Serving our guests healthy food was baked into our mission from the start,” said Sharon Burns-Leader, Chief Operating Officer of Bread Alone. “We began one loaf at a time, but as our skill and determination grew so did our ambition. Boiceville was once our proving ground and is now our North Star — we are thrilled to serve the world a slice of what we believe to be our collective future and we invite everyone to join us.”

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