It’s quite incredible how many stories we come across about bakeries all over the world lending a hand to make their community a better place. We’ve rounded up three social enterprise bakeries that show the amazing impact that bakers, bakeries and bread can have on people.
Luminary Bakery: East London
Duchess Meghan Markle recently celebrated her 38th birthday and she did so with a cake from Luminary Bakery. The bakery, founded in 2014, is a special one – it’s dedicated to changing the lives of women who have experienced significant trauma and abuse. Socially and economically disadvantaged women are given a safe, professional space to learn how to bake. They’re equipped with skills through courses that the bakery offers, and receive work experience and paid employment, allowing them to build up their career and break the cycle of poverty, violence and disadvantage. To date, the bakery has helped more than 60 women build their careers, and 10 women have gone on to start their own businesses. The bakery has an East London café as well as a stand at the Borough Market, produces goods for wholesale, parties and events, and creates special occasion cakes. For more info, click here.
The Bread and Butter Project: Sydney
Social enterprise The Bread and Butter Project in Sydney aims to give refugees and asylum seekers work experience to help them succeed in their new home. It’s been going since 2013 and was started after the owner returned to Australia after volunteering to teach artisan breadmaking skills to refugees in Thailand. The traineeships at the bakery are paid and participants graduate with formal certification in baking, as well as vital social and language skills. “We try not to take people who would have gotten job offers anyway. Which would be easy. We try to take people who will benefit the most,” said Dan Grynberg, board member of The Bread and Butter Project to SBS news, “We currently have a 100 per cent track record of participants graduating from our program, finding sustainable employment and no longer needing access to the Newstart allowance.” 100% of the bakery’s profits go to providing training and employment, and there’s hopes that the business can expand to other parts of the state. For more info, click here.
Bridge Bread: St Louis
Designed to provide job opportunities for people experiencing homelessness in their community, Bridge Bread bakery began in 2011. “This program accepts them as they are and allows them to participate with minimal training and minimal commitment. After training and establishing a positive work record our workers become more employable and some will move on to more traditional jobs,” says the Bridge Bread website. The bakery has employed about 40 people, more than half of which have remained employed and housed, and about ¾’s of the bakery’s profit goes to salaries – the rest goes towards ingredients. The bakery has a retail location, which is staffed entirely by volunteers, and products are also distributed to churches, universities and high schools. The bakery menu includes bagels, sourdough, rye, brownies and cinnamon rolls. For more info, click here.