Foodlink - Our Next Door Neighbor
Foodlink is a regional food hub and the Feeding America food bank serving Rocester and surrounding counties. Foodlink's operations target the root causes of hunger by distributing food to a network of human service agencies, serving meals through their commercial kitchen, and offering more than 30 food-related programs. At Special Touch Bakery, workforce development is the over-arching goal, (in addition to baking the best pies ever!). We've built an integrated workforce with disabled and non-disabled co-workers. In addition, we are developing cross-training programs with Foodlink's “Community Kitchen Institute.” This collaboration with our next door neighbor, will add an important aspect to the menu of culinary and food production career options presented to Foodlink trainees as they make their way through their curriculum “highways”—with various on and off-ramps to guide them through their choices.
Special Touch Bakery celebrates the abilities of all people and develops the skill sets in vulnerable and hard-to-place populations in the greater Rochester community. The bakery serves to be a critical opportunity to remove institutional barriers to employment for all, creating broad-based opportunities for success, and emergence from poverty.
Wegmans is a family-owned company, founded in 1916, located in Rochester, New York. They are a regional supermarket chain with 94 stores and 47,000 employees, it is one of the largest private companies in the United States. An integral part of the new Special Touch Bakery is the partnership with a leadership development team from Wegmans. Instrumental in helping us with product, pricing and process, they have been a valuable, constant source of expertise. The cross-functional team from Wegmans and countless subject matter experts from the company have been an important part in making the expansion of Special Touch Bakery a reality.