When The Bread and Butter Project started in 2013 its mission was to help other, news.com.au reports.
The brainchild of Paul Allam and his wife Jessica Grynberg, who co-founded the hugely successful Bourke Street Bakery in Sydney’s Surry Hills, The Bread and Butter Project offers training opportunities in baking to refugees and asylum seekers, with money from sales to restaurants and cafes going straight back in.
But when Covid hit and restaurants and cafes closed their doors, it was the business itself that needed help to keep their workers employed.
The Bread and Butter Project’s CEO Peter Boyd told news.com.au that one of the business’ top priorities was to survive the pandemic without standing down or reducing the hours of their staff, many of whom were in financially vulnerable positions.
“Because we’re working with graduates and trainees from a refugee, asylum seeker background, we were very reluctant to put people off, make people redundant, or exit the business,” he said.
Although The Bread and Butter Project operates as a commercial bakery, the “real purpose” of the business is the training it offers to refugees and asylum seekers in the art of becoming a baker.
Trainees undergo a six-to-eight-month traineeship that includes English tutoring, TAFE accreditation and on-the-job training, as well as job readiness support.
The business had to move quickly to adapt to changing public health orders that meant some staff had to undergo Covid tests every three days and new safety procedures like daily temperature checks and QR codes.
The Bread and Butter Project (Instagram)