A year of firsts – Bread and Butter Project
The Bread & Butter Project is celebrating their one year anniversary as Australia’s first social enterprise bakery.
With the support of their board, staff, friends and numerous foundations, they have come a very long way in 12 months. Now delivering over 10,000 units of bread a week to 100 regular wholesale customers, The Bread & Butter Project is well on its way to becoming a self-sustaining enterprise.
Reflecting on the success of their first year in operation, General Manager Brett Jordan emphasises that the team are motivated by one key mission – to provide sustainable employment opportunities for their trainees. “We are like a big family working together to create genuine life-changing outcomes not just for our trainees, but for all involved,” says Brett.
And with their one year anniversary under their belt comes another first – the graduation of their inaugural trainees, Ma & Somprasong who will collect their Certificate II in Retail Baking assistance from The Western Sydney Institute of TAFE in mid-May.
“I cannot speak highly enough of our trainees, their desire to learn and the pride they take in their work,” says Brett who is also proud to announce that Ma & Somprasong will stay on as baker/trainers, while two new refugee trainees will be shortly welcomed into the program.
Throwing herself into the challenge from day one, Ma Du has emerged as a truly skilled baker. Arriving in Australia from Burma, Ma initially had difficulty finding a job, “I really badly wanted to get a job, but it was so hard because of my poor English,” says Ma.
Part of the success of this traineeship is that The Bread & Butter Project offers English language lessons to improve trainees’ confidence and language skills.
Ma feels her employment with The Bread & Butter Project has affected all aspects of her life. “Every day I am happy. I make my own money and I can save money. I am proud because I can support my family,” says Ma.
Somprasong Srisungnern admits at first she found the traineeship difficult as she had never baked bread before. But she has settled into the routine and is excited to be returning as a baker/trainer. “One reason I love to know how to bake bread is because it is so important in Australia,” says Somprasong. “Everyone eats bread here. It is a simple food, good on its own and I am happy because my sons love it too.”
Sydney’s chronic bakers shortage means that for The Bread & Butter Project’s new round of trainees, future employment prospects are bright.