Biodiesel user spotlight: The Essential Baking Company

By | June 15, 2010
The Web site for The Essential Baking Company in Seattle says it all:

"We're fussy. Fussy about taste, the texture of our bread, the flakiness of our pastry, the richness of our desserts, and preserving the time-honored techniques of baking. And don't even get us started about the importance of the pureness of what we put into our bodies or our impact on the environment."

That commitment to the environment is fulfilled, in part, by using 99 percent biodiesel in its delivery fleet of nine Dodge Sprinters and three Ford F-350 pickups.

Steve Cavanaugh, the company's distribution manager, says switching to a biodiesel delivery fleet in 2005 stemmed primarily from the company's socially responsible and ecologically friendly philosophies.

He added that the drivers love it, especially the pleasant smell when they start them up on the loading dock.

"I was a delivery driver for many years myself, and I know what it's like. Doing something good along the way, like using biodiesel, makes the feeling about doing your job a lot better," Cavanaugh said.

He said the vehicles run great on the biodiesel, with comparable mileage and performance. The company has used a variety of blends and types of biodiesel over the years, including biodiesel made from canola oil, a local resource in Washington State.

But it isn't likely that The Essential Baking Company will ever donate used cooking oil to biodiesel producers. "We just don't generate that much waste oil," Cavanaugh said. "We don't even make donuts, because those aren't technically baked goods. We're purists around here."
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