MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Sweet La La’s Bakery in East Memphis is more than delicious cookies and cakes. They are on a mission to give people a second chance.
Bridgette is part of the Thistle and Bee’s two-year program that helps women survivors from sex trafficking and drug addiction.
“I was also homeless. I’ve had to rebuild my life. I’ve had to get a drivers license and pay off fines,” she said. “This has given me a chance to whenever I do get into transitional housing and back into the real world to do things like pay rent.”
Sweet La La’s Bakery actually started in the kitchen of JIFF, Juvenile Intervention and Faith Based Followup. They help young people break the cycle of crime.
“The thought was, we should be able to create a line of employment for kids who come out of a program. As successful as it it, the reality is, kids need jobs,” said Lauren Young, owner of Sweet La La’s Bakery.
“Employment is hard. Employment is hard if you have a record. Employment is hard if you don’t have stability and housing or transportation. So we try to take away those barriers with our team,” she said.
To remove a few of those barriers, she intentionally placed her business on the bus line, and hires and purchases products from social enterprises.
“All of these programs who are working with Memphis people who have some of the Grit and Grind in the story of their lives, deserve to be believed in and deserve a second chance,” she said.
John Young is a JIFF graduate and has been with Sweet La La’s since day one.
“Everybody deserves an opportunity such as people like me and Bridgette. We’re from all different walks of life. We all want the same thing. The opportunity to change,” he said.
John, aka Doctor Sprinkles, is now the cookie team lead and just celebrated eight years with Sweet La La’s.
That is why our anonymous donor wanted to give Sweet La La’s Bakery a thousand dollars. Because when you bake with a purpose, you do make life sweeter for so many.