The Capuchin Soup Kitchen, which feeds thousands of homeless and needy metro Detroiters every year, is expanding its dining offerings with a new bakery that also teaches job skills to those who need it most.
The On the Rise Bakery Cafe at the Solanus Casey Center, which opened Thursday, offers work training for formerly incarcerated individuals or those who have completed a substance abuse recovery program. It’s part of the ROPE (Reaching Our Potential Everyday) program created by Capuchin Brother Ray Stadmeyer over 10 years ago.
It’s aimed at giving those in need a second chance, said Brother Gary Wegner, executive director of the soup kitchen.
“Now we get referred through other programs,” Wegner said, places like the Salvation Army.
The Capuchin Soup Kitchen has been serving Detroit since 1929.
“We continue to provide meals, hopefully in a dignified way, and hospitality to Detroit’s poor on the east side,” Wegner said.
The bakery itself was started in 2009 and originally was located at 8900 Gratiot before moving to its new location at the Solanus Casey Center on Mt. Elliott.
The goods are made at their bake house, where you can find cookies, doughnuts, bread, cakes, honey and other deli items like sandwiches on the menu.
Prices range from $2 to $20, cookies and muffins are $2, and you can buy a whole 7UP cake for $17. Slices of cake start at $2 as well.
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Norman Bolden lll was a part of the ROPE program but now is a crew leader for On the Rise Bakery. He says the program has changed his life.
“It has challenges as much as anything else, but it really has been a great help for me and gave me a great fresh start to getting back into society as far as stability,” Bolden said.
Bolden said he bought a car.
“My future is looking promising,” Bolden said.
Taewon Bourgeois is also a crew leader who has been in the program for over 10 years, and he believes it was the best thing that happened to him. He wishes that more people took the time out to help themselves if they are experiencing hard times.
“If someone can take a year out of their life to get themself together, they won’t even believe it,” Bourgeois said.
On the Rise Bakery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
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