GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A new bakery uplifting unhoused women and helping support Dégagé Ministries opened Monday in Grand Rapids.
Open Door Bakery offers baked treats like cookies and cupcakes that were baked by patrons of Dégagé Ministries’ Open Door Women’s Center. Employees working at the bakery are given the opportunity to learn new skills and move forward with their goals.
The bakery is part of Dégagé's $7.5 million effort to expand its services in the city. It is down the street from Thrift on Div, a thrift store also run by the ministry that opened in February 2022.
Dégagé Ministries Executive Director Thelma Ensink described the opening of the bakery as a "longtime dream."
"We see women walking in here on their first day with what they have left of their possessions, seeking safe shelter, seeking a place to have a meal, seeking a place to get back into the workforce, to move towards housing," said Ensink. "And it's an incredible privilege to walk alongside of those women and help their dreams come true."
Open Door Bakery helps support the ministry's efforts to serve those experiencing homelessness and poverty. All proceeds from the bakery will benefit Open Door's programming budget. Ensink says need for the ministry's services has increased, and the bakery will help support those seeking help.
"It's important to us that the Open Door Bakery is a place of work," Ensink said. "It's a place where someone can earn a living doing something that they love, doing something that they're passionate about, learning new skills. That's so important to us."
The bakery is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Orders can also be placed online, and cookies can be found at area retail stores.
Learn more about the bakery or place an order here.
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