If you would like to talk with us about selling Bridge Bread, please click here.
Why make Bridge Bread?
There are few if any opportunities for people experiencing homelessness to be productively employed. 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. This will leave room for new entrants into our venture. Bridge Bread is like a doorway, a doorway to a more substantial future.
Is Bridge Bread part of The Bridge Outreach?
Bridge Bread is thankful for the incubation services provided by The Bridge, but we have operated independently of The Bridge since January 1, 2015.
But why bread?
We chose to make bread because it is a high-value-add product. The ingredients for basic bread are inexpensive, but the resulting product can be highly sought after.
How much of your sales actually go to help the Bakers?
About three-quarters of the income from sales goes to the Bakers in wages, taxes, and benefits. About one quarter covers the cost of ingredients. Most of our equipment was purchased with donated funds are received as a gift-in-kind. At this time, rent, utilities, insurance and other costs are covered by donations. As we grow, we expect to be able to cover those costs from sales income and use donations to expand the program.
How is Bridge Bread marketed?
Response to our product has been extremely positive. As word of our endeavor has spread so has the number of distributors. Bridge Bread has been a learning experience for everyone involved. We are more actively marketing our products by contacting local churches, grocery stores, and restaurants to solicite their support as distributors.
In July 2015 we opened our first retail location at 2604 Cherokee, St. Louis, MO 63118. We have exceeded expectations with strong support from neighbors and workers in the area. The Bake Shop is staffed entirely by volunteers and has significantly increased Bridge Bread sales - expanding hours and income for the Bakers.
We are open 8:30 am to 7:00 pm Tuesday through Saturday and 11 am to 5:30 pm on Sunday
What kind of support are you looking for?
Your prayerful support is very important to us. And of course, purchase of our delicious bread will pay our workers and the bills.
We need the support of our customers in serving as outlets for our products and helping to tell our story. As we expand there will be an increasing need for volunteers to become knowledgeable in the process and act as supervisors to our workers. There will also be opportunities for those who wish, to provide help with purchasing future equipment needs.
Click here for information about donations.
Our Bake Shop on Cherokee needs additional volunteers to staff retail sales and engage with the community on issues of social enterprise, poverty, and homelessness. Please contact Fred Domke - fdomke (at) bridgebread.org to discuss how you can help.
Why get involved?
Although Bridge Bread is not a religiously affiliated organization, our motivation has been, from the beginning, an outgrowth of our Christian faith. We are called to "love our neighbor as ourselves" and we take that call seriously. Both the Old and New Testaments are very clear about how we should deal with the poor and disadvantaged. Working for the success of the Bridge Bread effort is one way we can be faithful to those directives.
You can download a copy of the Bridge Bread flyer by clicking here
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