By Kathy Swaller, Board Member
Bridge Bread, a nonprofit social enterprise located on Cherokee Street, has been an Isaiah 58 Ministries supplier for nearly 2 years, funded by Hope United Church of Christ. Our pantry guests enjoy freshly baked loaves of sliced sandwich bread, delivered weekly. But Bridge Bread is more than just a supplier; it is a true inspiration.
Fred and Sharon Domke started Bridge Bread in 2011 in the kitchen of a homeless shelter to answer the need for training and employment opportunities among the unhoused in St Louis. Over the past decade, Fred and Sharon have employed over 100 people; taught them how to bake and helped them transition from homelessness to independence. As they keep in touch with the Bridge Bread alumni, they have found that over 60 percent are still housed and employed. Fred explained that through Bridge Bread folks who have lost everything can begin again with a little flour, some yeast, a bit of butter and realize “I can do something good!”
You can find Bridge Bread products at their bakery on Cherokee Street and at the Tower Grove Farmers Market. The bakery also operates a food truck which recently made a visit to Hope UCC in South City where folks from the church and the neighborhood enjoyed fresh bread, bagels, scones, and cinnamon rolls. Fred and Sharon Domke through Bridge Bread are seeking to serve the “least of our brothers and sisters;” in doing so they are serving Christ (Matthew 25:40).