Banana bread was a breakout star of many quarantine kitchens in 2020. But for Brooklyn, NY resident Sean Reynolds, it was quite a bit more. After quickly realizing the difficulties and stress facing frontline workers during the Covid-19 pandemic, Reynolds set out to show support in the best way he knew how – with his mother’s beloved banana bread. In April 2020, he delivered his first batch to a local hospital, and Brooklyn Banana Bread Company was formed.
“My goal, my passion, has always been people,” Reynolds explained. He helped raise $20,000 to feed over 500 families in Brooklyn in 2019 and chose his mom’s bread recipe as his next project because it was tasty and comforting. The bread is free, funded mostly through donations, and is meant to lift the spirits of those working tirelessly during a challenging time. He attracted the attention of Dole, who donated bananas to his cause. And since his first drop off, he has served over 4,000 loaves to 100 different hospitals, fire stations and other essential businesses. He has even traveled as far as Minneapolis with his bread to support the community in the wake of George Floyd’s murder.
Reynolds uses his own kitchen and the occasional helping hands of friends to bake and package the bread. And though he knows his way around the kitchen, he doesn’t have professional culinary experience. He has a regular nine-to-five job in telecommunications. “But from what I’ve been told, I make a quality product,” he said. He experiments with different flavors like chocolate chip and peanut butter, but doesn’t veer far from his mom’s signature recipe.
Selling directly to consumers isn’t available yet, but that’s a possibility simply to fund the project and help spread positivity. “I want to make sure people understand that this is just out of a four-letter word called ‘love.’” And though the end of the pandemic is in sight, Reynolds has no intention of slowing down. He has the ultimate goal of changing the world. “That is exactly what I want to achieve — one person, one community, one banana bread at a time!”
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