85C Bakery Cafe Goes Solar At OC Central Kitchen


While 85C is best known for their addictive pastries and long lines, they recently made a change for the greater good at one of their major production facilities. Designated as a central kitchen and headquarters, the Brea site underwent a six week transformation as 1,226 Mitsubishi Electric Diamond Premium solar modules were installed by SunGreen systems. According to SunGreen’s CEO John Hoffman, the system will pay for itself in five years. Going solar may not seem like a huge deal initially, but it makes more sense when we put it in perspective.

The Brea kitchen is responsible for mixing the wet and dry ingredients for all 27 locations in the United States. Think about that for a minute. They are constantly dispatching and transporting products (whether by land or air) to ensure items arrive as fresh as possible. The result of this installation is the equivalent in savings of 41,730 gallons of gasoline a year for the foreseeable future. As the first 85C facility worldwide to run on solar power, they are revolutionizing how future facilities may be designed, thanks to this pilot program.

Mitsubishi is no stranger to the foodservice industry. Their panels are safe in agricultural settings due to the use of lead-free solder. Sierra Nevada Brewery and Jacuzzi Winery are a couple of California examples of sites powered by Mitsubishi Electric panels. Manufactured in a solar-powered factory in Japan (How meta is that?), the electric current that’s collected and converted by these solar panels powers facilities like Brea, reduces their electric bill and even earns them credits when there’s a surplus in electricity produced.

As of today, there are 999 locations (grand opening number 1,000 is scheduled for July in Houston) in the 85C brand. Other company initiatives include involvement with Lakewood-based Food Finders, a multi-regional food bank and food rescue program. Chew on that the next time you’re waiting for your sea salt coffee.

Locate your nearest 85C Cafe Bakery and www.85cbakerycafe.com.

A contributing writer for OC Weekly, Anne Marie freelances for multiple online and print publications, and guest judges for culinary competitions. A Bay Area transplant, she graduated with a degree in Hospitality Management from Cal Poly Pomona. Find her on Instagram as brekkiefan.

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