I have been pouring over the 2014 Social Enterprise Awards finalists, and it is a very impressive and inspiring list indeed! It was great to see some of my favourite social enterprises Expresso Train, Who Gives a Crap and the team at Thankyou in the list.
One Sydney based social enterprise I loved learning about, is The Bread & Butter Project, a wholesale, artisan, social enterprise bakery providing training and employment for refugees and asylum seekers. The Founders of the successful, privately owned Bourke Street Bakery established The Bread & Butter Project when they realised that baking was the ideal profession for people who were hungry for hands-on work. The bakery supplies a range of delicous handmade loaves and pastries to a selection of cafes, retail outlets and growers markets in Sydney. TBBP currently employs seven full-time trainees from Burma, Siere Leone and Thailand, and will continue to stagger the introduction of new trainees as bakery sales grow. A team of professional bakers oversee the twelve-month padi trainship and the Bourke Street Bakery manages the social enterprise.
The project’s bread can be found at more than 100 locations in Sydney, including David Jones. All profits from bread sales are reinvested into the project.
Founder Paul Allam was inspired to set up The Bread & Butter Project following a trip to Mae Sot on the Thai-Burmese border, where at the invitation of a local orphanage Paul taught a group of Karen refugee women how to bake bread and helped establish a social business to support these women and the orphanage.
On returning home, Paul along with his business partner and friend, David McGuinness, decided to use their baking skills and community spirit to set up a social enterprise bakery to empower the disadvantaged in Sydney. Their vision was that Bourke Street Bakery would gift its time, baking and hospitality expertise to establish a wholesale bakery where 100% of the profits would go towards training and employment opportunities for communities in need. Paul, along with the rest of the board is working on a volunteer basis, spreading the goodness and growing The Bread and Butter customer base as “the more bread we sell, the more people we help”.
Some ways you can help:
- Buy some bread! Click here for stockists.
- Sell some bread! Contact TBBP to see if you can become a seller.
- Buy their new cookbook, email here for info on how to buy.
- Volunteer at one of their Farmer’s Market Stalls and tell the story to interested bread buyers at local markets
- Make a donation towards capital expense start-up costs
- Sponsor a trainee’s bakery uniform
- Tell your friends, share this post, like on facebook, follow them on twitter
To learn more about The Project visit their website or watch the ABC story here “People changing lives on a kneads must basis”