Thursday, November 3, 2011

Baking a Difference: Sweet Success Bakery

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I knew I would love A Sweet Success Bakery the moment I heard Maya Aliff, Bakery Program Manager, claim, "You could say cake is my favorite food!" Plus, they serve people with mental illness and I'll always have a sweet spot in my pantry for them. So please read on to find out about the great things happening in Guilford County, North Carolina!

When and where was your bakery founded?
At Sanctuary House, a nonprofit day program for adults with mental illness diagnoses such as Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, Major Depression and Schizoaffective Disorder, we focus on the development of employable skills and especially on helping our clients lead an independent life. The problem comes with the stigma of mental illness; many employers are wary about hiring an individual with a known mental illness. This is where we come in. 

At one of our annual fundraisers in 2008, I organized a bake sale. A week later, people were calling in to place orders! This was a pivotal moment for us, because at the time we were looking for an outlet to really focus on job development skills for our members. We needed a hands-on training outlet. We decided to focus on food service and our bakery was born!

What training do you provide?
Sanctuary House clients are invited to participate in every aspect of the bakery, such as baking, making icing, decorating cakes, working with fondant, washing dishes, folding boxes and menus, labeling bags, sweeping, grocery shopping, making deliveries, sitting in on wedding cake consultations. However, working at A Sweet Success is about more than gaining skills. Clients learn independence, self-confidence, teamwork, kitchen safety and sanitation and develop self-worth as they see something through to completion and take pride in their accomplishments.

What keeps people coming back for more?
Our strawberry layer cake is our most popular cake. It’s a cream cheese pound cake with homemade whipped cream and fresh strawberries between the layers with a vanilla buttercream icing. Of course, you couldn’t go wrong with the serendipity bar or our chocolate mousse!

1 comment:

  1. Nice story. Great idea. And the strawberry cake looks almost as good as one of yours!


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