Small-batch and large-batch production of fruit pastries, fresh cookies, and festive cakes are everyday activities in Boys Republic’s Teaching Bakery. To prepare students for jobs in the industry, instructors must also teach teenagers to market their freshly baked goods.
Student bakers cater charity benefits and business meetings and sell their goods at the local farmer’s market every week. These events require students to package and present their products and interact professionally with the public.
A new opportunity for teenagers to market their products on a larger scale arose last year. Teaching Bakery students are now producing and packaging their desserts for Pavilions, a California supermarket. The exciting venture was arranged by Scott Roysner, a Food Services Distributor and owner of Divine Specialties. Mr. Roysner became inspired by the agency’s goal of preparing the next generation of bakers, so he helped broker a relationship between Boys Republic and Pavilions.
Under the arrangement, students produce, package, and freeze their products and Mr. Roysner receives orders and handles transportation and delivery. Last November, the Teaching Bakery began supplying 25 stores with five desserts, or a total of 9,000 products. Students in the bakery now produce seven different confections for Pavilions stores on a regular basis.
The production increase requires the bakery to hire three additional full-time staff. Of the qualified candidates, Boys Republic seeks to hire former students previously enrolled in the Teaching Bakery program. The demand for baked goods also offers additional work experiences for students currently on the main campus.
As for students enrolled in the bakery program, supplying Pavilions with desserts provides them with a realistic taste of working in a professional bakery. Each product the teenagers make will eventually line a supermarket’s shelf, so they must follow recipe instructions with precision. Students are also required to bake and decorate each treat with uniformity and neatness. Their finished products must then be packaged and labeled with the correct nutritional information for customers.
Boys Republic’s arrangement with Pavilions is a self-supporting endeavor. In its early stages, funds generated will cover the expenses of employees and materials, and the agency will eventually profit as it increases production. Of course, measuring the success of the deal is not limited to financial gain. That students are exposed to real-world work experiences is invaluable as they acquire the skills they need to enter the work force and earn their way in the community.