Bloom Bakery is a truly distinctive concept in that not only are our employees benefiting from receiving a second chance at a career, but our business is also benefiting in return. Our employees’ dedication and commitment to the business from day one has been overwhelming. It is an inspiration to see people working through 1am shifts and 60-hour weeks with smiles all around. Our employees are proof that giving someone a second chance pays off.
At Bloom we are not a charity – we are a business. While our employees have the amazing opportunity to learn the trade of baking and hospitality, we are not solely a training program. We are a for-profit business focused on creating the best bakery products we can from scratch, every day, without exception. We believe in our ability to create a world-class bakery, all while hiring those who might have trouble starting a career elsewhere.
We hope that Bloom will set an example for other businesses, demonstrating that hiring people with a criminal record can be beneficial instead of detrimental. I’ll just share one example of how this mission is coming to life at Bloom
When I started interviewing candidates for Bloom, a gentleman named Vernon reached out and requested an interview. When I met with Vernon, he informed me he was not a Towards Employment graduate but had been through the criminal justice system and really needed a shot at employment. I informed him that he would need to go through the 4-week unpaid career readiness course at Towards Employment first and then we could consider him for employment. Sure enough, I was subsequently sitting at a Towards Employment graduation ceremony, and there was Vernon – he immediately came up to me and asked if he could interview for a bakery position now that he had completed the course. After interviewing Vernon for the second time, we made him an offer and he is now one of our top bakers, helping produce our full line of breads and pastries.
This is just one example of the dedication Bloom Bakery employees have shown in our first couple months of operation. I encourage every business to consider becoming a partner in this endeavor to give individuals a second chance and ultimately make Cleveland a stronger community. If we can be of any assistance in helping other businesses learn more about the cause, or if anyone is interested in touring our facilities and meeting our employees, please don’t hesitate to reach out.