Kitchen Spotlight: House of Bread

In 2017, three women mixed up a recipe of hope and help and connection. They offered their vision to the community. And it took.

Today, House of Bread is located at West End Presbyterian Church, cooks in the nearby LEAP Kitchen, and sells bread and baked goods on designated days. The group has worked with dozens of underprivileged women, gathered hundreds volunteers to help, and raised tens of thousands of community dollars to keep the program moving forward.

“The hope is that we make a really big difference in a small number of people’s lives – and then those people have a ripple effect,” says Lisa Goad, House of Bread’s program coordinator.

The concept from the beginning was simple: volunteers bake with previously incarcerated women who are looking for a path to employment. Each woman earns skills in cooking, marketing, and customer service and is paired with a mentor who can answer questions and open doors. Volunteers are introduced to the people behind the statistics, breaking down stereotypes. The bread they bake together is sold to the community.

Baking bread together is more than symbolic. “It’s so easy to have a conversation with someone you have nothing in common with when you’re standing side by side with your arms in a bucket of dough,” Lisa says.

The wheres and hows of the program have evolved over the years. Today, any woman who would benefit from the program can apply. Most are referred from local agencies such as Total Action for Progress, the Rescue Mission, or drug court.

Always, the connection between volunteers and participants has remained central.

“We want people to realize that when somebody comes out of prison or jail or is struggling with substance abuse that, first and foremost, they are still a person. They’re not so different from us,” Lisa explains.

To learn more about House of Bread and where to find their products for sale, go to their website:

Read more about House of Bread at

May 22, 2024
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