Unshackled is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that provides startup and operational support for new social enterprises and entrepreneurs that wish to create skilled training and employment opportunities for individuals in recovery, often reintegrating their lives after a period of incarceration.
The first of these social enterprises is Flourish Bakery. Flourish took on its first interns in January of 2018, and is currently housed in the South City Campus of Salt Lake Community College.
Flourish Bakery is a supportive community that fosters hope and health, in addition to personal growth, while teaching the art and skills of professional baking. Flourish Bakery employs individuals in recovery from substance use disorders, often reintegrating their lives after a period of incarceration. This employment opportunity assists individuals in the healing process and works to reduce recidivism and relapse through life and job skills training. Flourish provides a community of support, mentorship and friendship, and is a space of life transformation. The bakery is the first of the Unshackled social enterprises.
Aimee brings with her a unique blend of skills being both an award-winning, classically trained pastry chef and Episcopal Priest. With nearly 30 years of culinary industry experience, Aimee has directed the opening and operations of pastry programs at several notable locations like – Firewood Restaurant, Zermatt Resort, and Talisker Club & Canyons. To support the work of transformation and reconciliation in the Unshackled & Flourish community, Aimee brings a holistic understanding of recovery and her passion for mentoring young culinarians.
Ed moved to Utah in 2017 having retired after a 32-year career at the Supreme Court of the United States. Prior to his position as a Special Assistant to the Counselor to the Chief Justice, providing support to the Chief Justice’s broad-ranging administrative responsibilities within the Court and with external stakeholders in his leadership role as head of the judicial branch of government, Ed served as the Court’s Deputy Public Information Officer. Previously, he served as an Assistant Clerk in the Clerk’s Office and started his career as Secretary for the Public Information Office in 1982. Ed graduated from LaSalle University in Philadelphia with a degree in political science.
Patricia has a B.S. degree in Social Change and Development and Women’s Studies from the University of Wisconsin and has been a dedicated volunteer for various non-profits in Salt Lake City. Patricia has worked with the ESL program at the Guadalupe School, with the Chef and the Child, and the IRC. Patricia is a true lover of food and its presence in all cultures. If there is such a thing as a Food Sociologist she would be one! Her Italian heritage has played a predominate role in her exposure to foods deeply rooted in culture which lead her to a long career immersed in the food industry; working, as a caterer, a baker and eventually an Executive Chef for 7 years.
Sandra is an ACPE trained Chaplain who has worked as a staff Chaplain for two hospice organizations, in addition to providing pastoral care to staff and members of her parish, where she serves as an ordained Episcopal Deacon. She brings to Unshackled her love of new challenges, and learning opportunities, her skills as a Chaplain, her humor, her commitment to social justice and the excitement of being a part of something that will make a difference in the lives of others through creating a space of renewal and wholeness. Sandra finds relaxation and rejuvenation through hiking, knitting, exploring spiritual practices and volunteering at the VA.
Lukas is the Chief Financial Officer of Utah Luxury Tours based in Sandy, Utah. He brings vast entrepreneurial skills and experiences with him having created a business from the ground up. As a businessman and a co-founder, Lukas learned firsthand the joys and hardships of guiding a startup from concept to success. His focus lies within financial management and employee development. Lukas graduated from the University of Economics in Prague, Czech Republic, with Master’s degrees in Economics & International trade as well as Philosophy. When he’s not immersed in data analysis, Lukas enjoys the great outdoors and traveling with his wife, Christina.
Romina has been in the food and beverage industry since 2002 after leaving a career in telecommunications. She studied pastry at the French Culinary Institute. Romina opened Les Madeleines, a local bakery in Salt Lake City in 2003.
Julie has worked in the social services and behavioral health fields for the past thirteen years. She has worked with worked with homeless, refugee, youth, and adults with mental health and substance use difficulties. She has connected individuals with employment services and housing resources as well as teaching vocational and psycho educational skills, and providing individual, family and group psychotherapy. She currently provides oversight of clinical operations and training for several behavioral health treatment teams in Salt Lake County. Julie began her volunteer work with Flourish in November 2017 and is the chair of internal committee.
Janae has worked in the Accounting field since 1988. She earned her degree in Accounting at SLCC. Currently, she works as a Credit Manager for Muir Copper Canyon Farms. She is a member of the National Association of Credit Managers and has earned her CBA, CBF and in 2007 she become a Certified Credit Executive (CCE). From 2008-2009 Janae was the President of ICEL (Intermountain Credit Education League). Janae owns J. Lynne Bookkeeping Services And is a World-wide Traveler.
Rob Ferris is a retired disabled Army staff sergeant with over thirty years of leadership, counseling and instructor experience. Rob is the CEO of Advantage Services Inc. a social enterprises started in 1992 that employs over 150 people who are disabled or disadvantaged.
Dr. Roderic R. Land is the Special Assistant to the President and Chief Diversity Officer at Salt Lake Community College.
Dr. Land did all of his postgraduate work at the University of Illinois, where he earned his PhD in Educational Policy, Organization and Leadership. He has committed his “life and work” to higher education. Dr. Land’s past experience includes working in the Salt Lake County Mayor’s office as the Associate Director for Human Services. He also taught in the Dept. of Education, Culture, and Society at the University of Utah and serves as an Associate Minister at Calvary Baptist Church. Additionally, Dr. Land served as the state representative on the national board of the ACLU.
Steven is the Founder and Chief Eating Officer at Liberty Heights Fresh, a pioneering merchant of good food in Salt Lake City, established in 1993. Steven was born and raised on a 425-acre tree fruit and vegetable farm in southwestern Michigan; obtained a BS in Agricultural Economics/Food Marketing from Michigan State University in 1983; and studied filmmaking at the Vancouver Film School, 1990-91. Steven has served on numerous community and trade group boards and committees, including the Central Regional Council for Utah Workforce Services, Jewish Family Services, the Utah Film Center, Local First Utah’s Government Relations Committee, Salt Lake City Business Advisory Board, the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade Board of Directors; and was a founding member of the Utah Independent Business Coalition. Steven and Liberty Heights Fresh were twice named a top retailer of specialty food in North America (2001 & 2007) by the Specialty Food Association. Steven possesses a commitment to make the world a better place for all, and cares deeply about changing how society treats those recovering from addiction.
Flourish Bakery represents an opportunity to begin again. We are guided by a simple philosophy: it’s never too late. It’s never too late to heal lives, repair communities broken by substance use disorder and incarceration, and to reduce recidivism and opportunities for relapse. It’s never too late to create meaningful existence. We start in a kitchen, where individuals participate in a twelve-month bakery and pastry arts training program. Essentially, it’s a classic paid apprenticeship in an artisan bakery. Our mission is, after graduation, to place our interns in an externship at a local hotel, resort, bakery, catering company, or restaurant.
Our graduates continue to receive assistance in job placement with reputable employers where they will build their culinary career and enhance their skills. But our graduates are not limited to kitchens and bakeries–we provide experience in business management and marketing while facilitating an introduction to a variety of industry players such as: specialty and broad line purveyors, farmers and growers, and local artisan crafts makers. We believe that opportunities like Flourish empower individuals and create a world of growth, leading to lasting and total-life recovery.