Capuchin Soup Kitchen's New Bakery Gives Men a New Life

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Not About Baking; About Teaching Healthy Relationships

The baking team at the new On the Rise Bakery are (from left) Wallace Gilbert, Edward Collins, John Karnicki, Lammie Rhodes, Brother Ray Stadmeyer, Urel Porter, Aaron Carson and Brian Talley. Photo Credit: Marylynn G. Hewitt, SFO

Working with the volunteers has been a big part of my development. It's easy for me to withdraw. They won't let me. If they see me being quiet, they won't let me 'just be.' They've taken us all into their hearts. They know our backgrounds and they don't care.

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Detroit's Capuchin Soup Kitchen has opened its first business outreach, "On the Rise Bakery."

The bakery is staffed by seven men who have been incarcerated or who have completed a substance abuse treatment program. The goal of "On the Rise Bakery" is to have the participants learn a marketable skill while continuing to become men of greater integrity. This program, for many, is the first opportunity to have hope for success.

Capuchin friar Ray Stadmeyer explains that the bakery is not about the process of baking but learning healthy relationships. "These guys have had tough lives. They have faced hard, hard struggles that are difficult for the average person to imagine. For most of these guys, this baking program is their first real opportunity to succeed."

The men invited to participate in the bakery business must commit to:
1) A sober and/or drug free life with active participation in a 12-step program
2) Desire to improve and change
3) Respect for others
4) The desire to maintain healthy relationships
5) Becoming leaders in the community through generously giving of their time to those in their neighborhood
6) Always reaching back to help the newest man in the program by encouragement and support.

When a man is accepted into the program, he lives in the ROPE house where the men live in community. The goal is for the man to transition to independent housing after one year in the ROPE house.

Volunteers are the heart of "On the Rise Bakery." Many volunteers (mostly from the suburbs) join the individuals and friars, baking, packaging, and readying the goods for the Sunday parish sales. The men explain that the volunteers are the most valuable asset of "On the Rise Bakery."

Edward, Crew Leader, explains, "We didn't have a lot of caring in our lives. We needed to process and understand healthy relationships. There is a lot of warmth and caring with the volunteers. We have a real connection with these people. It rubs off being with the volunteers. We are seeing strong family values for the first time in our lives."

Baker Lammie adds, "Working with the volunteers has been a big part of my development. It's easy for me to withdraw. They won't let me. If they see me being quiet, they won't let me 'just be.' They've taken us all into their hearts. They know our backgrounds and they don't care."

The retail bakery will sell:

  • Artisan breads and dinner rolls
  • Delicious varieties of pies and cookies
  • Quick fruit breads
  • Cinnamon rolls
  • Brownies

The bakery's hours will be 6 AM-Noon, Tuesday-Sunday. The men and volunteers will continue to sell baked goods at area parishes on Sunday mornings. The bakery is located 6110 McClellan, Detroit, located near the intersection of Gratiot and I 94.

Founded in 1929, the Capuchin Soup Kitchen serves Metro Detroit by providing food, clothing, and spiritual counsel to those in need. Frequently preparing and serving 2,000 meals a day, the Capuchin Soup Kitchen also distributes household items and operates a shower program, food pantry, and children's tutoring and art therapy program. Its Earthworks Urban Farm produces vegetables for Detroit's hungry, and educates the community in regards to sustainable relationships between human beings and the earth. The soup kitchen's ROPE (Reaching Our Potential Everyday) ministry is designed to assist individuals "re-entering" society after bouts of incarceration or substance abuse. ROPE's first social enterprise is the "On the Rise Bakery."

The soup kitchen is a ministry of the Province of St. Joseph of the Capuchin Order, which is headquartered in Detroit and serves Capuchin ministries worldwide.
http://www.ontherisebakery.org        
http://www.cskdetroit.org
http://www.thecapuchins.org

For additional information, contact:
Colleen K. Crane, The Capuchin Province of St. Joseph
(cell) 414.254.2808

Capuchin friar Ray Stadmeyer: (cell) 313.826.8800

An electronic media kit is on-line which includes b roll footage, photos, quotes from volunteers and bakers:
http://65.108.206.52/ministries/OnTheRiseBakery.shtml

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Colleen Connor

Ray Stadmeyer

313.826.8800
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