We Prepare People for Work & Life
The Bread Project’s vision is to lead work-readiness, employment support, and professional development programs for formerly incarcerated, reentry, justice involved individuals in the San Francisco Bay Area, and to be a model for this work nationwide.
When adults have a second chance and are able to make a successful transition to employment and have ongoing access to further education to increase their economic opportunities, they improve not only their own lives but those of their families and communities, for generations to come.
The Bread Project was founded as a California nonprofit 501(c)(3) public benefit corporation in December 2000. Lucie Buchbinder and Susan Phillips, specialists in subsidized housing, created the organization to help low-income housing tenants obtain job skills training and become self-sufficient. After a successful beginning at the San Francisco Baking Institute in South San Francisco, The Bread Project transferred to the East Bay and partnered with Berkeley Adult School and Oakland Unified School District Adult and Career Education.
With growth came the opportunity for The Bread Project to operate its own training facility and wholesale bakery. In 2010, we moved to Emeryville. In 2014, the award-winning 3-week Bakery Bootcamp™ was established to offer a quicker pathway to employment. In 2015, The Bread Project moved again to its current facility – zoned for both retail and wholesale operations –in Berkeley, California. During our 20-year history, we have served over 2,000 low-income individuals. Today 80-85% of graduates find jobs, and average time to employment is 30-60 days.
We are proud of our accomplishments to date, but more work needs to be done. With the recidivism rate at 46% for formerly incarcerated Californians, we intend to grow our programs and services to reduce that rate for our graduates. Other long-term impacts we strive to achieve with the justice involved population are increased economic opportunity, wage progression, enhanced quality of life, and access to a supportive community.
Usha is a Bakery Bootcamp graduate who came to The Bread Project as a student in 2013, became a part time employee following graduation, and joined the team full time two years ago as Instructor, Production Manager, and more recently as Operations Manager. A native of Nepal, she is an internationally acclaimed entrepreneur, ‘green’ manufacturer, and
scholar dedicated to improving the lives of women through meaningful self-sufficient work. She is Founder and Proprietor of Young WoW Craft in Nepal, an organization that employs 35 women and produces, markets, and distributes natural, fiber-based cloth and clothes from Lokta Paper globally. Usha speaks six languages and has a wonderful combination of spirit, passion, and direct experience for helping the unemployed acquire new skills and jobs.
Chef Gram began work at TBP in 2018. He has been Production Manager for Grateful Bread in Denver, Head Baker at West Town Bakery in Chicago and Kitchen Manager at Flagship Facilities Services in Menlo Park. More recently, he was Bread Chef at Facebook, Inc’s Menlo Park corporate headquarters where he managed the production of 40+ fresh baked goods daily! He is a graduate of The French Pastry School in Chicago where he studied with Chefs Sebastian Canonne MOF, Jacquey Pfifer, Bob Hartwig, Sebastian Thifienne, Laura Ragano and John Kraus. He has mastered proficiency in areas including frozen cakes/entremets, chocolate and sugar candies, tarts, breads, breakfast pastries, chocolate and sugar showpieces, wedding cakes, plated dessert, ice cream/sorbets, and jam making. He completed an externship at Pasticceia Bruno on Staten Island where he specialized in high volume production and worked with Chef/Owners Biaglo and Salvatore Settepani.
& Strategy Officer
Lynn Luckow is a senior advisor, consultant, coach, and four-time CEO. He served as President & CEO of Craigslist Foundation, Northern California Grantmakers, and Jossey-Bass Publishers, and more recently LikeMinded, Inc. Over the past four decades he has acquired expertise in and practiced organization leadership, strategy, change, nonprofit governance, philanthropy, education, and youth and adult development. Lynn has served on or consulted to over 50 nonprofit boards, including chairing the national boards of Chanticleer, the Kinsey Institute, Project Open Hand, and National 4-H Council. Currently he serves on the board of Delta Upsilon International Fraternity and on the advisory boards of Project Open Hand, QuarterZero, Rotary Youth Leadership Awards Camp, Smuin Contemporary Ballet, and World Arts West. He has also served in Interim Executive Director roles for Chanticleer, Sunflower Wellness, and The Bread Project in the Bay Area.
Employment and Graduate Services Manager
Veronica earned a BA from the University of California, Berkeley, studying Political Economy and Global Poverty in 2018. Veronica lives a deep commitment to serving vulnerable populations and has diverse experience doing so. She has spent the past several years providing mentorship and academic tutoring to at-risk high school students, lobbying for legislation that makes college more accessible and affordable, and providing legal information assistance for immigrants. Veronica joined TBP early in 2017 first as an intern and then as a Program Assistant.
Program Services Manager
James is an experienced baker creating bread, pastry, and cakes at bakeries including Della Fattoria, The Tomales Bakery, Donut Savant, and Firebrand Artisan Breads. James has an educational background focusing on Nonprofit Management and Human Resources. As the Program Services Manager at The Bread Project, they are excited by the integration of their education and experience, the reentry of recently incarcerated folks into the workforce, fostering new client and organizational relationships, and building connections that can establish an integrated community of services for clients.