Firebrand Artisan Breads is the East Bay’s only wood-fired bakery. ICA has been working with its founder, Matt Kreutz, since 2012 and Firebrand is one of ICA’s first investments—joining the investment portfolio in 2015. For more than 9 years, ICA has supported Firebrand’s success through hands-on advising, direct investment, and network-building. Throughout the years Matt has demonstrated a deep commitment to quality and to the well-being of his employees. Download the Firebrand + ICA Case Study.
Now Firebrand is entering a new phase of growth: its newly-opened production facility in Alameda and just-launched crowdfunding campaign are set to propel the bakery forward, scaling the company and creating more wealth-building opportunities for Firebrand employees.
The Firebrand + ICA Story
Today we are launching a first-of-its-kind case study, created by the ICA team in partnership with Matt Kreutz. It documents the brand’s commitment to building equity for its workers, as it scales. In the case study we explore Firebrand’s work to benefit its community, including transitioning to an innovative inclusive ownership model, and how ICA’s catalyzing contributions of advising, network building, and investment, in partnership with Matt’s commitment and leadership, helped make that success possible. Download the Firebrand + ICA Case Study.
“At Firebrand, community is about feeling connected and responsible for what happens. Our business is part of this community, and we take that responsibility seriously.”
-Matt Kreutz, founder of Firebrand Artisan Breads
Good Bread. Good Jobs.
Firebrand has built a model for how local businesses can create shared wealth and positive social outcomes within its communities. Working with partners around the Bay Area, Firebrand employs workers with high barriers to employment, particularly those who were previously incarcerated or homeless. The bakery invests in its workers by developing growth plans for each employee, paying industry-competitive wages, and offering resources like on-site English classes.
In 2020, Firebrand transitioned the business to steward-ownership, meaning the bakery is owned by the Firebrand Purpose Trust and governed by employees, community members, and advocates. This innovative ownership model extends wealth building to employees through a stock option pool, while guaranteeing the business to remain in the hands of, and in service to, its local community for perpetuity. This transition set Firebrand up to attract an $8.2M Series A fundraising round from a network of impact investors for its latest expansion.
For more than 9 years, ICA has supported Firebrand’s success through hands-on advising, direct investment, and network-building. Firebrand first engaged with ICA in 2012, when founder Matt Kreutz participated in several ICA business classes. The partnership expanded with ICA’s first investment in Firebrand in 2015. ICA has remained in close collaboration with Firebrand through their thrilling upward trajectory. This case study tells the story.
Download the full case study to read in-depth how ICA’s catalyzing contributions of advising, network building, and investment helped Firebrand grow its business and extend social benefit within its communities.