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As Bread Rises, So Does Hope for Youths' Careers

Monday, October 1, 2001

Juniper Bakery, a nonprofit business that teaches disadvantaged young people the trade of baking, has opened in Memphis. Youth services agencies refer clients aged 16-25 to the bakery, where they undergo a 16-week apprenticeship program. Apprentices are paid $7 an hour. After they graduate, they are placed in jobs with area restaurants and bakeries. Juniper Bakery products are available in area grocery stores, as well as at the bakery. Profits are used to support the apprenticeship program with the goal of making it self-sufficient. Among those that provided seed money are the Assisi Foundation, the United Way and Ben and Jerry's Hot Fudge Venture Fund. The building, which had once housed another bakery, was donated. Juniper Bakery's founder, Jonathan Koplin, hopes to see an entire apprenticeship village evolve in Memphis to teach all sorts of trades to young people. For more information, call Koplin at (901) 327-6091.