L.A. Unified School District adds new local food items to menu

The Los Angeles Unified School District uses 50% of its food budget on local food.

Dec. 2—The savory smell of nutmeg and cinnamon wafts through the Azusa bakery, where dozens of workers in blue gloves and hairnets cook up L.A. Unified's newest star product. The "Glorious Morning" muffin is chewy and moist, packed with whole wheat, raisins and carrots — along with flaxseed for heart health and brain development.

The muffin is good for children but also for the bakery's business. The Los Angeles Unified School District's order with Buena Vista Food Products Inc. to bake 4 million servings of muffins, coffeecake and corn bread every month has doubled the firm's business and created 100 jobs this year. To keep up with the district's orders, the bakery has invested $1 million in four new ovens and other equipment.

"We haven't sold this much in the history of our company," said Buena Vista President Laura Trujillo. "Working with L.A. [schools] has completely changed the way we purchase and produce."