Unshackled is a 501(c)3 that creates skilled training and employment opportunities for formerly incarcerated individuals in recovery. We do this by establishing social enterprises that create a professional context for this training, also creating a source of revenue to help fund these efforts. The first of these social enterprises is Flourish, a commercial bakery that teaches the art and skills of professional baking in a recovery-supportive environment. Flourish is a paid, 12-month internship followed by an externship in an area resort, restaurant, or bakery. And, of course, Flourish sells delicious baked goods to the public!
In January of 2018, we established the Flourish Bakery pilot program with four interns, two full-time staff, and several volunteers at the Salt Lake Community College South City Campus. Since that time, we’ve developed and improved the curriculum and programming, and engaged the interns in a co-creative effort: they have built the program beside us and taken ownership of the future of Flourish Bakery. It has truly been an inspiration to witness as our interns have taken hold of this opportunity and transformed their lives--all by engaging a community of personal and professional development. The simple act of learning a new skill, practicing, and getting better has created a context by which our interns have developed confidence and come to believe they can have any future they work for. They have taken back control of their destinies, one cookie and loaf of bread at a time.
It is now time for Flourish Bakery to expand its program. We want to hire more bakers and further improve our curriculum and programming. And we want to build our own bakery at 3077 S 300 W in South Salt Lake. Our permanent location will feature a small retail cafe and a full commercial bakery. To purchase equipment and renovate the space, outfitting it as a dual culinary school and full-service bakery, and to expand our program and hire more interns, we are raising $750,000 before September 20, 2018 in a campaign we’re calling Raise The Dough.