Baking up a Brighter Future

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Graduates of The Bread Project Alaa, a Syrian refugee, alongside fellow classmate graduate, Deyana from Contra Costa County.

By Sandy Karp

Here is a career opportunity that is all about the dough. 

A Berkley- based nonprofit called The Bread Project offers a unique, three-week long baking boot camp for low-income East Bay residents, including those from Contra Costa County.

Since 2011, The Bread Project has provided 880-plus individuals with a training ground to hone their baking skills as well as job placement assistance.

Graduates have moved on to employment at many companies including Teacake Bake Shop, House Kombucha and Bay Bread.  The grads have access to a wide variety of job assistance services, including mock interviews.

The Bread Project is not just searching for new students, but also supporters. The nonprofit encourages the public to purchase its baked goods from The Bread Project’s bakery at 1615 University Avenue in Berkeley.  Its products can also be found for purchase in retail outlets such as William Sonoma and Ladle and Leaf.

To apply to train in the program, please call The Bread Project’s training hotline at (888) 283-3522. There are also drop-in sign-up days every Wednesday from 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at 1615 University Ave. in Berkeley. More admissions information can be found on the nonprofit’s website here.

From left: Jairo & Andrea (siblings & Guatemalan refugees), Yanette (small business owner looking to expand baking skills), Sheng & Song (Cantonese-speaking immigrants).

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