Great Brownies Building Great Communities: Meet Lamont

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: Lamont Dandridge

Greyston Bakery - Lamont Dandridge - Ben & Jerry's



Time at Greyston:  

2 days

In Lamont's Own Words:  

When I came home from jail I was always trying to get job, but I was always being denied. My work ethic is very strong— I got a good resume, but it's my background. So every time they did a background check, they denied me the job. I even had a commercial job in Union Square. And they were letting me work, but on my third day they finally did the background check and they took me off the site. That makes a person just stop everything.

So I hung in there, kept my head up— and there've been ups and downs. I've gotten married. And me being a husband and my wife wanting things, I couldn’t be the husband that she wanted me to be, and it was hard for me. I didn't feel like a complete man. I'd been out of work for six years. I'm not going to lie to you, I gave up. I didn't even try to look for more jobs. But once I saw a video with Dion Drew, it was like a boost. He gave me a boost of energy and I was like, "Wow, if he could do it. I could do it." Then I came up here and signed up.

It's a lot of weight off my shoulders, just having this job. I go home and I get out of my car, I walk through my neighborhood, I go to the store, I don't even take my uniform off, I'm just so happy. I don't know how to describe it. I wake up every day, 5 in the morning, come from the Bronx. I'll be on the campus sometimes at 6 o'clock, 6:30 am and just be looking around. Just the smell of grass in the air, knowing that I'm coming to work; it feels good. I'm not letting this opportunity go.

I know other people who are out of work. Now knowing about Greyston, I'll tell them about it. I'll even put them in my car and drive them up here to sign up for a job. I really feel it's possible. A lot of people don't want to listen to positivity. You'll listen to a guy talking about popping bottles, smoking some weed, but they don't want to listen to something positive. But I just give them a positive message and I let them know, "I'm willing to help you," because I feel Dion helped me without even knowing me.