We had a local friend approach us about opening a bakery after hearing what we were doing to help out the women in East Asia. It was clear to us from the beginning, this was the answer to five months of prayer for us to have an impact in lives. Opening an American-style bakery was going to be the avenue to help women leave prostitution, find healing and a new life. Beginning in the summer of 2010 three of us, two Americans and a local Asian woman, began to dream about what kind of bakery and business we wanted to open. From the beginning, we as a business wanted to be committed to three things: the integrity of an authentic all-American product; an atmosphere where women leaving the sex industry could experience hope and healing; and give back to our community by taking care of our customers and doing business with honesty and integrity. Our desire is to genuinely help these women, and by having a solid, profitable business, we can offer not only new employment opportunities, but stability they aren’t experiencing in their current professions. In the Fall of 2010 we began to write business plans, design menus, plan budgets and continued to seek wisdom and guidance from others who had done business in a cross-culture context to promote social justice. We were continuing to spend time weekly with women in the brothels and were learning more about their needs and the realities of their current situation. Our hope and desire to help them continued to grow and we are determined to set firm foundations for a business that will help do just that.
About three months ago we had our first catering gig. After a few months of taste testing and trying out what seemed like hundreds of recipes, we decided on our product and were ready to slowly start doing business. We catered a retreat for 40+ people and our cupcakes were a huge hit! During that first job we learned a lot; simple things like boxes and cupcake liners, things that are plentiful in the States, are going to be harder to come by in Asia. We have since catered several other events and will likely soon be hired to provide desserts for a local bar-be-que restaurant!
Back in January of this year, we began to have conversations with individuals and corporations who wanted to help. We have been raising funds to open the storefront for the bakery, as well as open a safe-house for women to have a refuge to live and start their lives over. Our goal is to open a store in early 2012, and Lord willing, begin to offer hope and a new life to the thousands of women trapped in the sex industry.