Plans for a new Mid-Michigan bakery with a mission of training the homeless and giving them valuable job skills to succeed are in the works.
Carriage Town Ministries plans to invest nearly $1 million into the business to train homeless people to work in bakeries and earn a living wage.
“It’s going to be a café setting with a training kitchen,” said Nic Gatlin, director of operations at Carriage Town Ministries.
For Gatlin, it's all about baking for a good cause. He said a new sweet shop is in the works called Carriage Town Bakery.
“We will have all sorts of baked goods, breads, muffins, brownies, cookies, and of course Blueline donuts,” Gatlin said.
He said Carriage Town Ministries already makes donuts and bagels for Foster Coffee Company, Kettering University, and Blueline Donuts Retail.
The new bakery will be located at the corner of University Avenue and Garland Street.
He said the bakery will aim to teach new job skills to people who have fallen on tough times including the unemployed or homeless. Skills he feels they can use to improve their lives.
“So, for the residents that come through our door, we provide them opportunity to get into a kitchen, learn some skills that are associated with working in a kitchen, commercial kitchen where safety training is involved. And connections, we’ve even developed a partnership with Mott culinary school,” Gatlin said.
The new bakery will initially employ six to eight bakers in training. Trainees will be encouraged to enroll in Mott Community College’s Culinary Arts program with the support of incentives.
Gatlin said sweet smells of baked goods should be rolling out soon.
“In the near future, hopefully, 2020-2021 as a café. People can start enjoying everything that comes out of our kitchen,” Gatlin said.