Two years ago, we realized through our work together as the Social Impact Director and the Head Chef of Molly Moon's Homemade Ice Cream that it was really hard to be able to offer ice cream maker opportunities to individuals with little to no experience in the kitchen. We sought out resources that would help people with barriers to opportunity in the pastry industry gain skills for employment. After searching, and not finding programs that we felt were quite right for individuals with barriers, we decided to create our own free baking and pastry training program—The Pastry Project!
This February our first student cohort graduated after 12 weeks of learning valuable skills and methods like how to make quick breads, cookies, cakes, cream puffs, tarts and more, all in a commercial production setting donated by The London Plane. In addition to learning baking and pastry methods and skills needed for good jobs, students of The Pastry Project were supported in learning professional skills—like time management and how to communicate effectively with coworkers and bosses. They also received resume writing and job application assistance, as well as interview coaching.
After graduation, students of The Pastry Project are supported in finding placement in good jobs - ones that utilize their skills and support them in their career growth. We are working with amazing baking and pastry businesses to help create opportunity for our students. Businesses supporting The Pastry Project include Molly Moon's Homemade Ice Cream, Trophy Cupcakes, Intrigue Chocolate, Hello Robin Cookies, The London Plane, PCC Community Markets, Raised Doughnuts, Macrina Bakery & Cafe, Princi, Lady Yum and more!
We are building out a permanent workshop and training kitchen in Pioneer Square with supported funding from Historic South Downtown, and hope to be open with our second cohort starting in Fall of 2020. The space will also host public facing classes that will help fund The Pastry Project's free training program. Until we officially open we'll be hosting online and in-person workshops when possible - please check out our workshops page for upcoming classes!