LANCASTER, PA. — The Lancaster Food Co. is looking to raise $250,000 in hopes of restarting operations that shut down in early December. The baker of organic bread said it was forced to shut down after losing an investment of $250,000.
To pursue funds to sustain operations going in the short term, the company has set up a GoFundMe page. The company has set a $20,000 goal and had reached $12,236 of that goal by Jan. 10.
“We started The Lancaster Food Co. to hire people with obstacles to employment out of poverty and into good jobs,” the company noted on the GoFundMe page. “We’re a second-chance employer, meaning we also hire people with records of incarceration — everyone deserves a second chance. Starting pay is $15 per hour plus benefits, and we planned to offer employee ownership in 2018 because people should benefit from the value they help create.”
The company said it has been “growing fast” and expects to be profitable “sometime this spring.”
“The only thing we can offer at the moment in exchange for your donation is our deepest gratitude and the continuation of our mission to make delicious organic breads, hire people out of poverty and into good jobs, and support organic farmers as close to home as possible,” the company said.
Lancaster Food was founded in 2014 by Charlie Crystle and Craig Lauer. Mr. Crystle is chief executive officer, and Mr. Lauer is chief product officer. Mr. Lauer’s wife, Polly Lauer, is chief operating officer.The company produces fresh sliced sandwich bread five to six days a week for distribution to more than 350 stores and restaurants. Bread varieties baked by the company include organic country white, organic honey wheat, organic sprouted multigrain, organic sandwich rye, organic cinnamon raisin and organic seeded heritage grains.