Dave’s Killer Bread

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Kaitlyn Murphy
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Dave’s Killer Bread uses all organic ingredients to create breads that are packed with nutrition and taste delicious. Their products are non-GMO, vegan, and use no artificial additives. The company was founded by Dave Dahl, who served 15 years in prison, but was determined to turn his life around. Dave’s established its Second Chance Employment Program in 2015 to encourage other businesses to give people a second chance regardless of criminal history. Today, ⅓ of Dave’s employees have a criminal background. In 2016, Dave’s Killer Bread was sold to Flowers Foods, which also shows a commitment to giving back to the community, providing a safe and inclusive working environment, and making progress to their sustainability initiatives.

What it's made of:


Dave’s Sprouted Whole Grains’ main ingredients are organic whole wheat, water, organic cane sugar, organic sprouted grain mix, organic rolled oats, and organic expeller pressed canola oil. This bread is packed with organic whole grain nutrition, is non-GMO, has no high fructose corn syrups, and no artificial preservatives or ingredients. In addition, I love their nutrition comparison page on their website, which provides a side-by-side breakdown of the protein, fiber, fat, sodium, carbs, sugars, whole grains, and omega-3 fatty acids in each of their products. This allows consumers to choose the best bread based on their health concerns and diet. One thing to keep an eye out for is the high sugar content in Dave’s Bread. Although the label says “organic cane sugar” that still doesn’t make the sugar nutritional. The Organic Sprouted Whole Grains Bread and their Organic Powerseed Bread contain lower sugar content, while not compromising high fiber and protein values. This is a great option compared to classic store-bought bread that doesn’t have the additional nutrition of whole grains, seeds, and rolled oats.

How it's made:


Dave’s Killer Bread provides little information on the specifics of how they make their bread. However, all their products other than their Honey Oats & Flax Bread, which contains organic honey, are vegan. They are also USDA certified organic and claim that their ingredients “at no time come into contact with chemicals, genetically modified organisms, or anything that was processed using ionizing radiation.” Dave’s Killer Bread is now owned by Flowers Foods, which also owns Wonder Bread, Nature’s Own, and Sunbeam. Flowers Foods claims that all their facilities, distribution centers, and warehouses “track energy and emissions with an online energy management program,” which has led to a 17% decrease in emissions per metric ton. Their strategy includes LED lighting upgrades, using a compressed air system, and heat recovery that reuses waste heat from ovens to heat water and their buildings. Flowers Foods is also committed to decreasing its water use. Their sustainability report states that they “reuse water for equipment that does not come into direct contact with food products,” but it is unclear how often they are able to do this. It appears that Flowers Foods is holding itself accountable and increasing its transparency, but they lack information on where they source ingredients from and if they use sustainable farming practices. Although all ingredients in Dave’s Killer Bread are organic, this does not automatically mean that they are not harming the environment or harvested under fair working conditions. Lastly, it is important to acknowledge the high prices of their products, which range from $5.50-$8.00 and out of a lot of consumers’ budget.

Who makes it:


Dave’s Killer Bread was founded in 2005 by Dave Dahl and his nephew at the Portland Farmers Market. Dave comes from a family of bakers, but his struggles with depression and addiction led him to 15 years in prison. When he was released from his last sentence, his family and older brother Glenn embraced him back into their family bakery. Dave was determined to switch his life around and make unique breads made with nutritional and organic ingredients. This eventually led to Dave’s Killer Bread, which is America’s #1 Organic Bread. In 2016, Dave sold his company for 275 million dollars to Flowers Foods. Flowers Foods has an in-depth Sustainability Report available on their website, which shows their commitment and progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, reducing water use, zero-waste to landfill, and converting to more sustainable packaging methods such as compostable materials. The company has a strong desire to give back to their community. Specifically, Dave’s Killer Bread donates more than 600,000 loaves of bread per year to local food pantries and non-profit organizations. A donation request form is available on their website for the Oregon/Washington area.

Dave’s Killer Bread established its Second Chance Employment Program in 2015. Their motto is that they “believe that people are capable of greatness.” This stems from Dave’s inspirational story of transformative power. Therefore, they believe in giving people a second chance regardless of criminal history. Dave’s seeks to serve as an example to other businesses and show that hiring individuals with a criminal history can help their local community and reduce the effect of recidivism in America. Today ⅓ of Dave’s Killer Bread employees have a criminal background.