Announcing Bloom Bakery, a TE social venture

Bloom Bakery to Provide Training and Jobs for Those Facing Barriers to Employment

  • Towards Employment teams with renowned baker Maurice Chaplais to create jobs and bring top-of-the-line baking techniques to Cleveland
  • Bloom Bakery scheduled to open in early 2016
  • Profits to be reinvested to expand opportunities for Towards Employment graduates

CLEVELAND, OH – November 4, 2015 – Towards Employment, a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering individuals to achieve and maintain self-sufficiency through employment, recently unveiled plans for a new social venture, Bloom Artisan Bakery & Café.

Scheduled to launch in early 2016, Bloom Bakery will be an artisan bakery and café selling premium breads, pastries and café meals, and will provide training and jobs for those facing barriers to employment.  Initial locations are slated to open at 200 Public Square and 1938 Euclid Avenue on the Cleveland State University campus.  Baking and retail staff at both operations will be Towards Employment graduates.

“We have found ‘learn and earn’ opportunities are needed as an effective workplace introduction for many Towards Employment students, especially those with the most challenging barriers to employment like a criminal background,” said Towards Employment Executive Director Jill Rizika. “With our board’s endorsement, we agreed to identify a social enterprise that could provide rigorous on-the-job training, work experience and income for these students. Bloom Bakery is the best opportunity to meet these goals.”

In addition to its social mission, Bloom Bakery is committed to offering food that will meet the highest standard of excellence, thanks to guidance from artisan bakery specialist Maurice Chaplais. Bloom Bakery will utilize Chaplais’ top-of-the-line baking techniques, which harness the unique science of slow baking, including a three-day yeast fermentation process that produces unparalleled flavor.

“Bloom Bakery will distinguish itself by taking the time to perfect the art of baking,” said Chaplais, an internationally renowned bread consultant and teacher who fine-tuned his art of baking at his acclaimed Flour Bag bakeries in the United Kingdom and Florida. “The effort to incorporate locally sourced ingredients and create delicious handcrafted treats demonstrates Bloom Bakery’s dedication to great taste and customer satisfaction. With this high level of preliminary attention to detail and commitment to the craft of baking, Bloom Bakery is primed to stand apart based on the quality of its food alone.”

The project received financial backing from a number of local organizations that believe in the business and its mission, including The Cleveland Foundation and the Business of Good Foundation.  Profits earned from Bloom Bakery will be reinvested back into the business, expanding opportunities for people to earn a wage, develop lifelong employment skills, transition into a full-time career, and create positions for the next class of job readiness graduates from Towards Employment.

“Bloom Bakery is in the business of changing lives,” said Bloom General Manager Logan Fahey. “Our great mission and great product go hand-in-hand. Whether that means providing someone with a job that will help support a family, or simply creating a space where people can gather to eat delicious food and support an important social venture together, we want to generate a ripple effect of progress and positive change throughout the entire community.”

In baking, bloom is the golden brown color of the crust of well-baked bread. It also represents the ultimate goal Bloom Bakery has for its employees – to blossom and to thrive. Bloom Bakery will offer the requisite caliber of training and experience to ultimately create a “bloom” on employees’ resumes – a recognizable symbol that they have met the exacting standards of production and customer service required in the baking industry.

Bloom Bakery’s slogan, “Creating Jobs Is Our Secret Ingredient,” is emblematic of Towards Employment’s career pathway approach. Graduates from Towards Employment’s job readiness training programs will find a home at Bloom Bakery – the next step on their path to success. Towards Employment Board Chair Brian Lamb, an attorney with Thompson Hine, adds: “Towards Employment prides itself on offering the right career pathway services at the right time.  Bloom Bakery is the right social enterprise at the right time.”

About Towards Employment

Since 1976, Towards Employment, a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering individuals to achieve and maintain self-sufficiency through employment, has served more than 122,000 low-income and disadvantaged adults in Greater Cleveland – to help them prepare for jobs, get jobs, keep jobs and advance into careers. Through holistic programming and strong employer partnerships, TE builds individual skills and confidence, removes barriers to employment and helps individuals meet employers’ workforce needs. For more information, visit

About Bloom Artisan Bakery & Café

Bloom Bakery sees creating jobs as its secret ingredient. In addition to introducing Cleveland to top-of-the-line European artisan bakery techniques, Bloom Bakery will educate, train and employ people with barriers to employment by creating opportunities for meaningful work, achievement and self-sufficiency. Bloom Bakery is incorporated as a Benefit Corporation, a hybrid of a standard corporation and a nonprofit, with a fiduciary responsibility to the interests of its employees, the community and the environment, as well as its shareholders. For more information, visit

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Adaora Schmiedl