Is there a better smell than freshly baked bread? Is there a more delicious taste than bread just out of
the oven? Imagine living so far out of town that the bread is already stale before it gets to the local
shop. As one neighbor said, It’s hard enough to use to play baseball!
For several years, Kimberley has had a dream to use her passion for baking to help local women earn money, work together, and experience the love of The Bread of Life, Jesus Christ, while providing for their families. She is known in the Jarabacoa area for her cheese biscuits and other baked goods, and enjoys both sharing them, and teaching others how to bake.
Recently, Carlos and Kimberley met with community leaders, as well as the Crucero Women’s Club, to discuss the idea of a community bakery to be housed in the local community center. The response was overwhelmingly positive, and folks are eager to get started. We have identified a small group of women who will work together to develop clear expectations, processes, etc.
The community of Crucero is located in the beautiful central mountains of the Dominican Republic. Approximately 500 people call this rural community home. Most homes do not have dependable water or electricity, and only a few people have regular full-time employment. The main employment for many of the women is cooking and cleaning in weekend homes and AirB&Bs, where they earn less than $150US/month. This barely covers their basic needs and leaves no money for health or other emergencies.
Crucero is on the main road leading to many other rural communities in the area. It is also the road to Presa de Taveras, a favorite spot for fishing, swimming and relaxing. The natural beauty of the area, nestled in the central mountains of the Dominican Republic, attracts visitors from the capital city and other parts of the country to area AirBNBs and vacation homes, especially on the weekends. There are no restaurants, food carts, or places to purchase fresh food in the area.
Our budget for the pilot will be just under $5,000US. $2,800 of this will provide funds for the purchase of the oven and accompanying items. The rest will be for the first three months of gas and ingredients, as well as packaging materials, marketing, and training. We plan to start with just two products: pan de agua, which is the most eaten bread in the Dominican Republic, and a simple yet flavorful cake. We want to offer a consistent, quality product packaged in an attractive way.
Our prayer is that this project will become self-sufficient within its first year, not just financially, but also being managed by Dominicans. We hope to expand our products to include other types of bread and cake, as well as biscuits and cookies, and also offer coffee, homemade juices, and simple meals.
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