We Prepare People for Work & Life
The Bread Project’s vision is to lead work-readiness, employment support & professional development programs for marginalized individuals in the San Francisco Bay Area, and to be a model for this work nationwide.
When thousands of low-income, chronically unemployed adults 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 18-year history, we have served over 1,800 low-income individuals. Today 90% of graduates find jobs, and average time to employment is only one month.
We are proud of our accomplishments to date, but more work needs to be done. As income inequality continues to increase in the Bay Area, our work is even more important. Over the next five years we are committed to growing our programs and scaling our social enterprise.
Interim Executive Director
Usha is a Bakery Bootcamp graduate who came to The Bread Project as a student seven years ago, 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 most recently served as Interim Executive Director for TBP. Lynn is a senior advisor, consultant, speaker, coach and four-time CEO. He founded and led LikeMinded, Inc., a nationwide crowdfunding platform designed to assist nonprofit and civic enterprises expand engagement, funding and impact in their local communities. Prior to LikeMinded, he served as President & CEO of Craigslist Foundation, Northern California Grantmakers and Jossey-Bass Publishers. 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 the National 4-H Council. Currently he serves on the boards of LikeMinded, Inc., Rotary Club of San Francisco, and Delta Upsilon International Fraternity, and on the advisory boards of Dive-In.co, Quarter Zero, Project Open Hand, Smuin Contemporary Ballet, and World Arts West.
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.