The USA's leading awards celebrating the bread community

Bread Heroes USA Special Awards 2021

In 2021 we were delighted to expand our Heroes search. We wanted to hear about not only our regional Bread Heroes, but those who were Heroes in particular ways.

Tiptree Outstanding Achievement Award

This Award was for the nominee who most demonstrated quality, integrity, innovation and authenticity in their business and business practice .

Guy was born and raised in Israel and moved to the USA when 23. By profession he is a Los Angeles based filmmaker which means he has lots of ‘off-time’ that gives him the opportunity to gather hobbies. Over the years there have been a few, mostly home-based – a backyard gardener, freshwater fisherman and baker. He started baking sourdough loaves in his kitchen at home until his wife banished him to a shed in the garden! Whilst understanding the science, Guy’s approach to bread-making pushed traditional boundaries and he has been described as ‘the Hollywood wizard of bread”.

His picture-perfect, wildly-colored sourdough loaves made with ancient grains are celebrated for their visual appeal as well as their culinary flair.
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Brook Bake Dream Team

This Award was for the team that demonstrated the greatest commitment as a team, both to other team members and also to those in the community they have been supporting


The idea for Rising Above Bakery arose when Shiri Reuveni-Ullrich, a speech therapist and an avid baker, noticed the dramatic effect that baking cookies had on her nonverbal, autistic young adult students. The kitchen filled with chatter, singing, laughter and verbalizing as students became more comfortable with the work. At that moment, she knew that a bakery must be created to help individuals with disabilities find their voice and live meaningful, independent lives.

Today, the bakery in Chestnut Ridge, NY, employs 7 trainee bakers and serves customers throughout Rockland County, NY, and northern Bergen County, NJ.
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Sustainability Hero

This Award was for the nominee who truly embedded sustainability into their business, by showing how they benefited both the environment and society


Josh Allen started Companion Baking in St. Louis in 1993 at the age of 24. His vision was clear and concise: create wholesome and delicious European breads with simple ingredients.

Starting with just six breads in its product line, Companion’s award-winning bread is now served in more than 400 restaurants, grocery stores, and businesses around the Midwest and across the country. Josh was astounded however when he discovered that his bakery generated so much waste – over 1.5 million pounds a year!

By measuring and managing their trash, they have changed the thoughts and actions of their bakers. Today, waste reduction plays a role in each and every decision at Companion, from sales, the production process, and automation to packaging, etc.
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IBIE Innovation Award

Awarded to the nominee who has shown true innovation over the past year. The Award celebrates creativity in any aspect relating to the entire production process and delivery of bread to the consumer


When the pandemic hit, Guy started baking bread for local charities that had set up food distribution and grocery bag giveaways for those in need and particularly those heavily impacted by the pandemic. He named the cause ‘Cast Your Bread’ and started to reach out to local home bakers, rallying them together and arranging drop-offs at his home so that he could gather up the donated loaves from bakers all over LA and take them to the charities.

The movement grew and quickly gained traction. Word spread to other regions, inspiring bakers to set up offshoots of the charity in Baltimore, New Jersey, Spokane, and even overseas in Israel.
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Home Baker Hero

Awarded to a nominee not operating commercially who the judges felt had gone the extra mile to support their community, promote a sense of togetherness and make a difference


Veda grew up in the Philippines where she spent summers playing in her grandmother’s hotel bakery next to her home in Cebu City.

For over 10 years, Veda has volunteered at the Union Square Farmers Market, baking is her therapy and sharing the bread makes Veda feel part of a community. She frequently bakes ensaimadas, challahs, brioche and many other baked goods for neighbors, friends, the staff of her building and homeless people.

During the Covid lockdown, Veda baked for the ambulance crews at Lenox Hill Hospital. Every Wednesday and Saturday, Veda bakes 8 boxes of bread, as much as her cart can carry, boards the MTA bus and heads downtown to the Union Square Market to bring the vendors something nourishing and tasty for their coffee/lunch break.
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Meet our 2020 Heroes