We are fortunate and grateful that the income that we earn through the bakery (from retail sales, catering orders, wholesale orders and private events) makes up over 60% of our income each year. This is 40% more than the typical social enterprise.
Like all restaurants in the past few weeks, however, our business has disappeared. We had eighteen private parties booked for March and April--canceled. Every corporate catering order, every order for parties at home--canceled. We know that we've lost approximately $15,000 for these two months, and that doesn't include retail income, or any jobs that we hadn't booked yet.
We are hopeful that this will be a temporary situation, but if a recession takes place, this will affect future event bookings and catering orders. We must ask our community to help fill in the gap.
The Blue Sky Employment Program began in 2007, and we opened the cafe in 2008, in the middle of a recession. The homeless and at-risk youth in Chicago needed us, though, so we worked hard to stay open and follow through on our promise to employ, engage and empower them.
Our next group of youth is eager to start working as soon as they can, and we hope to have them graduate in time to take advantage of the Chicago restaurant community staffing up for another busy summer.
Please give what you can, and know that your tax-deductible donation is creating jobs and giving hope to youth who truly deserve it. Thank you.