The Story of Laughing Bear Bakery
Each year, several thousand men and women are released from Missouri prisons after completing their court-ordered terms. Unfortunately, they face so many unique and overwhelming challenges that many are unable to start a new life. One of the major factors for recidivism is the inability to find gainful employment. Laughing Bear Bakery, a work skills reintegration program, offers ex-offenders paid employment opportunities immediately upon their release. These jobs provide income, stability, and marketable skills. Laughing Bear provides compensation greater than minimum wage so that employees are better able to support themselves while learning their trade and establishing an employment record. Laughing Bear has formed relationships within Missouri prisons that enable us to identify prospective ex-offenders prior to their release. When they enter the program, their chances of success are greatly increased. ♥ Kalen McAllister started the program in 2015 with 2 ex-offenders and in its first year, Laughing Bear Bakery has already “graduated” 3 bakers to full-time employment. Laughing Bear utilizes the facilities of a commercial kitchen business incubator housed in a St. Louis church. Our high-quality, “from-scratch” bakery goods are sold through various channels around the St. Louis area. Laughing Bear Bakery is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization and all donations are tax deductible. ♥ Laughing Bear Bakery is committed to producing the highest quality bakery goods. We test our recipes and use the best ingredients that we can find. Careful attention is paid to packaging and storage, label information, and prompt delivery. We do everything we can to make sure that each mouthful of our delicious products is satisfying enough to form a lasting impression and repeat sales. We know that we are succeeding at this commitment because of the wonderful comments we receive from our happy customers.