HomeSBN Crowns Crust Vegan Bakery Champion During Food Saver Challenge Closing Ceremony

PHILADELPHIA, PA – On Thursday, May 2, the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia (SBN) recognized Crust Vegan Bakery as its inaugural Food Saver Challenge winner during a closing ceremony.





Close to fifty business owners, advocates, and community members from Philadelphia’s local food scene gathered at Crust Vegan Bakery’s kitchen facility in the Manayunk section of Northwest Philadelphia to congratulate Crust on winning the title of 2024 Food Saver Champion and celebrate the challenge’s conclusion.  




SBN Executive Director Devi Ramkissoon kicked off the ceremony by acknowledging that throughout the six-month challenge, the participating businesses and partners contributed to advancing Philadelphia’s goal to divert 90% or more of the City’s waste away from the landfill by 2035 and fostering a culture that bridges food equity and waste reduction. As a result, all the participating businesses composted nearly 80,000 pounds of food and donated almost 6,000 pounds of food with a retail value of over $80,000. “By participating in the challenge, we hope that these businesses gained valuable insights into their own food waste patterns, identified areas for improvement, and implemented shifts in their practices that can be sustained in the long term,” shared Ms. Ramkissoon in her opening remarks. 

After, Ting Wang, Director of Business Advocacy for the Department of Commerce at the City of Philadelphia, presented a citation on behalf of the City to Crust Vegan Bakery for winning the challenge and contributing to the City’s goals of waste reduction. “The City of Philadelphia is committed to working with small businesses from across the City to foster practices that prevent and manage waste, but also supports the businesses leading this charge,” Wang shared. “I’d like to present this Citation to Crust Vegan Bakery for their commitment to sustainability and creativity in preventing food waste.” 




Meagan Benz, owner of Crust Vegan Bakery, and her team took to the podium to receive the Citation from the City of Philadelphia, a trophy created by Remark Glass, and a $5,000 check. “I’m incredibly proud that we won this challenge and that SBN launched it,” Benz shared. “SBN has long been a champion of small, sustainable businesses – like my own – and I hope they continue to support businesses to explore food waste reduction practices.” 


At the event’s close, Ms. Ramkissoon acknowledged the eight Food Saver Challenge participants for their dedication and commitment to preventing, redistributing, and composting food waste throughout the challenge, each with a certificate. Aside from Crust, the other participating businesses included Philly Foodworks, Philadelphia Catering Company, Bar Hygge, Old City Coffee, LUHV, High Fidelity Bakery, Mariposa Food Co-op, and Reading Terminal Market



The Food Saver Challenge was also made possible by the support of partners, including Sharing Excess, Philly Food Rescue, Bennett Compost, Circle Compost, ClearCOGS, and Drexel Food Lab, whose commitment to reducing food waste made the challenge a resounding success. 

To learn more about SBN’s Food Saver Challenge, please visit here

All photography courtesy of Jesus Rincon.