Impact of Scarlet’s Bakery
Follow me on a journey that started over a decade ago. When I was in my twenties I started making wedding cakes as a hobby. This hobby unexpectedly led to a pretty lucrative side business, but I also quickly realized that baking served as my creative outlet. I truly found so much fulfillment in creating something beautiful and delicious.
One wedding cake led to another, and before I knew it people were asking me to not only bake their wedding cakes but cater their wedding reception dinners. As I began hiring other people to help with these events, I developed a love for teaching others. It also revealed how capable I was of starting a catering business.
In 2007, I started Scarlet Hope, a non-profit focused on providing an alternative for women in the adult entertainment industry. During this time, I continued baking and catering different events. Eventually, the two worlds collided and I began hiring women that I met through my work with Scarlet Hope to help me with different catering events. I believe if you want someone to stop doing something, you must give them an alternative, and that’s exactly what happened.
The women who were working with me were eventually able to transition into a new career or go back to school. Weekend after weekend we would bake, cook, and serve. And each weekend I was given the opportunity to see satisfied smiles on guests faces, as well as smiles on the faces of each woman I hired, as she experienced feelings of dignity and pride for her hard work.
This is what sparked the idea for Scarlet’s Bakery. I longed to start an impact-minded enterprise that would teach women new skills, without an educational barrier affecting their chances of getting a new job. I hoped for a business that would ultimately affect next generations by giving women hope for a different kind of future. A future where a woman could go back to school or start on a new career path. A future where anything was possible.
I longed to start an impact-minded enterprise that would teach women new skills.
I have realized since embarking on this journey that in order to give a woman an alternative, I must be willing to take risks. I have also realized that none of this would have been possible without numerous people believing in and responding to the vision. Starting a bakery would not have been possible without others coming to realize that these women have value and strengths that they can offer to their community, family, and to themselves.
Access Ventures has played a vital role in this journey. From the beginning, they have believed that an impact-minded business would be a powerful way to esteem a woman by giving her a job where she could thrive and grow, while also positively impacting the community.
Thus, as a response to many people and companies believing in our mission Scarlet’s Bakery opened in December of 2015. The day we opened our doors for the first time, Scarlet’s Bakery had employed four women that were seeking the alternative I had longed to provide them so many years ago. These four women have boldly stepped into this vision with us and are making strides to transform their community, family, and their personal lives.
Each employee at Scarlet’s Bakery will take an active role in her personal and professional growth. During each woman’s time employed at the bakery she will learn about management, becoming a barista, and baking techniques. Employees will then gain an incentive for each technique that is accomplished. This is a way to encourage growth and leadership for years to come.
Scarlet’s Bakery hopes to develop leaders that will have marketable skills which can be used to work in the top restaurant establishments in our city, or to have the confidence to go back to school and learn a new field. Most of all, by the end of their employment at Scarlet’s Bakery, each woman will have the confidence and charisma to find freedom outside of exploitation.
Written by Rachelle Starr @scarletsbakery