Happy Feel Good Friday! I'm traveling for the next few weeks and will be tapping in to the FGF archives for stories. Join me as we look back at some favorites from the last 9 and a half years.
First, Rubicon Bakery.
Located in Richmond, California, their motto is "Treat yourself. Transform Lives." Why? Because they employ people who need a second chance, whether that's because they've done time in jail or have had issues with substance abuse.
The short version of the story is this. Rubicon Bakery was founded in 1993 as a social enterprise by Rubicon Programs to provide job training skills and employment to low-income clients in their program who were the hardest to employ. After 16 years, with the bakery losing money and down to 14 employees, they sold it to Andrew Stoloff, who promised to continue the bakery's mission.
Now they have over 100 employees, are growing at a rate of 30% per year and their products (made with all natural ingredients) can be found in stores around the country, including your local Whole Foods! You can meet some of the bakers and hear how working at Rubicon Bakery has changed their lives in this 3:50 minute video. You can also read this Berkeleyside article by Alix Wall which gives you a much more detailed version of the story and includes photos!
That leads us to the second Feel Good Friday group, Rubicon Programs.
As explained on their Facebook page, "Rubicon's mission is to transform East Bay communities by equipping low-income people to break the cycle of poverty. Since 1973, Rubicon has provided employment, housing, mental health and other supportive services to individuals who are very low-income, especially people who are homeless or have mental illness."
Their programs include a one stop career center that provides workshops, coaching and job placement assistance as well as a host of legal services. They also operate a fully licensed landscape maintenance and installation business called Rubicon Landscape, which provides training and employment to a team of 60-80 people.
You can support the work of both groups by buying some cupcakes, hiring help for your yard work and following them on social media! Remember, treat yourself. Transform lives.
Rubicon Bakery: Facebook page and Twitter @RubiconBakers
Rubicon Programs: Facebook page and Twitter @RubiconPrograms