Thursday, April 26th, 2018

S Shopper Stories


BAKER’S CRUST

Encouraging everyone to have a stake in their community

by Rob Lauer


The staff of Baker’s Crust’s Chesapeake location. <BR> (Back row, left to right) Jonathan Harris, Sergio Arambula  and Scott Denham <BR> (Front row, left to right) Kellie Riggs, Ramon Montalvo, and Kamille Tamio

The staff of Baker’s Crust’s Chesapeake location.
(Back row, left to right) Jonathan Harris, Sergio Arambula and Scott Denham
(Front row, left to right) Kellie Riggs, Ramon Montalvo, and Kamille Tamio

The good folks at the Baker’s Crust believe that everyone should have a stake in their community, and so they are encouraging residents across Hampton Roads to stop in on Monday evenings and–literally–have a steak in their community.

Every Monday evening, guests at the various Baker’s Crust locations throughout the area can enjoy an 8-ounce steak with one side for only $7.00.  Proceeds from the meals are then put into a fund which, at the end of each month, is donated to a local charitable organization.

This weekly “Buy a Steak in Your Community” event, which began this past April, is the brainchild of Baker’s Crust General Manager Jonathan Harris. Instead of donating small amounts to many organizations, Jonathan has designed a fundraising program that allows Baker’s Crust to make one large contribution to a different organization each month.


“I am so impressed...
Not only has the Baker’s Crust
donated to suicide prevention efforts,
but their overall goal
is to help make the community
a better place for all of us.”

—Kym Bach



“We are looking for groups that have an active presence in the cities where all of our restaurants are located,” Jonathan explains.

“Buy a Steak in Your Community” has already raised funds for many different organizations, including Autism Awareness, Wounded Warrior, CHKD, Chesapeake Humane Society, Alzheimer’s, the Food Bank and Juvenile Diabetes.

Most recently, Baker’s Crust made a substantial contribution to the Out of the Darkness Walk which is sponsored by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). Suicide has touched the Baker’s Crust family, which makes the most recent fundraising efforts for AFSP even more meaningful to Jonathan.

“When suicide happens close to home, it makes the issue more real,”  he says. “Often times, there is so much shame associated with mental illness and depression. A big part of suicide prevention is making sure that the people suffering from depression speak with a professional and get the help that they need. I totally understand how important this is because I’ve suffered from depression and anxiety in the past.”

“I am so impressed by the work that Baker’s Crust is doing with their fundraising program,” says Kym Bach, a Survivor of Suicide (SOS) member who lost her son to suicide over six years ago.  “Not only has the Baker’s Crust donated to suicide prevention efforts, but their overall goal is to help make the community a better place for all of us.”

Baker’s Crust will donate funds raised in December to For the Girls—a health organization dedicated  to raising awareness of breast cancer and improving the lives of young women  affected by the disease.

“One of a business manager’s biggest responsibilities is to be  actively supportive of the local community,” Jonathan explains. “Baker’s Crust owner John Stein feels that it’s crucial for us to have as much interest as possible in what is important to our guests. After all, these are the people who are supporting  our business.”

“I love this company,” Jonathan continues with a  smile. “It has a tight-knit, family-type atmosphere that I really appreciate. It has a cooperate structure with a Mom-and-Pop feel—the best of both worlds. We also have a lot of very talented people working here, so I’m glad to be a part of this family.”

Since joining the Baker’s Crust team in 2013, Jonathan has been continually impressed by the restaurant’s ongoing commitment to serving only the freshest foods. Their talented chefs start each day by preparing fresh breads, homemade Mozzarella Cheese, and roasting their own tomatoes.

“I would say 95 percent of what we prepare here is homemade,” Jonathan explains. “We try to make sure we have the highest quality ingredients we can get, and we buy locally every chance we have. A hydroponic farm, located in Suffolk, grows many of our fresh ingredients, ranging from lettuce to arugula.” This farm to plate approach—which assures that only the best ingredients go into every item on the menu—is evident in the Baker’s Crust’s freshly tossed salads, and specialty oils and vinegars.


“It’s crucial for us have
as much interest as possible
in what is important to our guests.
After all, these are the people
who are supporting our business.”

—Jonathan Harris



Baker’s Crust’s varied menu includes sandwiches, seafood, hamburgers, salads, and pizzas.  An extensive gluten-free menu is also available. When someone orders from this particular menu, the gluten-free item is personally brought to the table by the manager—just to assure that guest that they are in good hands. Weekly specials such as Wine-Wednesdays and Pizza Pint Thursdays, make a mid-week dinner at the restaurant a fun evening out.

While always striving to stay relevant, Baker’s Crust resists falling prey to passing fades. “We try to make sure we are grounded,” Jonathan says emphatically. “We have a brand, and we want to stay true to it.  We’ll keep on top of trends, but we will never compromise on  the high quality of our food or the care that we put into preparing it.”

Baker’s Crust’s growing catering service is able to cater anything from a small business luncheon to a full service wedding. Because the restaurant is not a large national chain, it is not bound by strict corporate guidelines; their catering service can easily accommodate special requests for menu items.

The Baker’s Crust’s commitment to having a stake in the local community extends beyond their “Buy a Steak in Your Community” Monday night specials.

“We can host individual fundraisers at our locations,” Jonathan explains. “For instance, one location gives honor roll recipients a coupon for a free meal. Another location recently hosted a fundraiser for Rock Solid Foundation—an organization that builds playgrounds for children  fighting cancer. For the past two years, our Chesapeake location has been raising funds to support Cedar Road Elementary.

“We’re willing to work with any local charitable organization whose mission statement or beliefs are in line with ours,” Jonathan continues. “Our commitment to having a stake in the local community has proven to be extremely positive for everyone involved. Our guests can get a great meal at an affordable price while supporting worthwhile organizations that are making life better for everyone in Hampton Roads.”




Bakers Crust

1244 Greenbrier Parkway
Chesapeake, VA 23320

757-547-2787
http://www.bakerscrust.com