This past weekend’s featured find is a very special one: Delicious bread with a heartwarming story behind each loaf. Homeboy Bakery is a weekly vendor at several farmers markets throughout the Los Angeles county from Tues-Sunday. I had always overlooked this stand, as I figured it was just enriched loaves of bread, until I heard the story behind this industry.
In a nutshell, Homeboy Bakery was a part of “Jobs for a future” project, which provides jobs to those who have recently gotten out of jail to help get them back on their feet – kind-of like a second chance. Their motto, which I love: “Jobs not Jails”
What once was a small bakery in a run-down warehouse is now providing hundreds of opportunities to those in need of that second chance. They provide jobs, education, and even free tattoo removal to help decrease judgement and profiling, and furthermore to help remove gang affiliations. I had the pleasure of meeting Keo (left) and Orsy(right) who were working the stand today. Orsy was telling me about his current situation which I found incredible. He was recently released, and Homeboy was there welcoming him with open arms. Not only has he been given the second chance with employment with a lack of judgement, but the organization has been able to offer him free tattoo removal, which I believe he said he is currently on the waiting list for, and they are working with him on his resume and interviewing skills to achieve a more professional job. He then went on to let me know the several resources available, which are completely free. This includes, training, education, AA, tattoo removal, and I believe the only service that is not free is the domestic violence/abuse counseling – but that is out of Homeboy’s control, as the counselors charge a hefty price.
Now, onto the actual product…their homemade bread:
At a price range of $5-$7 per loaf, you get a lot of bang for your buck! I originally was torn between this multigrain stubby and a squaw bread (which Orsy explained was like pumpernickle). However, in the end I went for the multigrain, since the squaw contained hi-gluten, and molasses – two additives I’d gladly skip if I am able to. This loaf was PERFECT for an afternoon lunch 🙂 However, I will forwarn you: this bread is VERY hearty. With that said, you will actually be fully satisfied with just half a sandwich and a side of chips n slasa, veggies n hummus, or fruit.
While it is very filling and hearty, it was not dry like many other breads (such as Ezekial), in fact, I found it to be very soft once it hits your mouth. Basically, I find it to be the perfect bread…and I cannot WAIT until next weekend to pick up some of their cinnamon raisin bread for our “on-the go-mornings” 🙂
Wholesome quality food and employment opportunities – Homeboy has made an incredible and positive impact on those within the Los Angeles County.
By purchasing Homeboy products, you are not only supporting small business corporations, but you are also contributing to and supporting opportunities for a second chance. Remember, we all mess up, we all learn, and we could all use a second chance to prove our worth – thank you Homeboy.