Sunday, August 05, 2007

haley house update, summer '07


I was recently back on the East Coast and was overjoyed to find the Haley House Bakery Cafe doing better than ever. Though I wish that I could be as involved with this program living out here in California as I was during my years in Boston, I am proud to report that, with the strong leadership of Didi, Bing, and Kathe, as well as the dedication and spirit of all the staff and trainees, this non-profit bakery cafe in Dudley Sq. has continued to grow and thrive, both with respect to its community-based social mission, as well as its sustainable food philosophy.

The Bakery Cafe has partnered with the Boston Police to host periodic cooking classes for inner city youth as part of the G.R.E.A.T. Program (Gang Resistance Education and Training). This programs uses cooking as a vehicle for teaching youths to appreciate different cultures (through making Chinese dumplings and Puerto Rican gazpacho, for instance), with the hope that greater understanding will stem prejudice before it is able to take root within the youth community.

Much through the dedication of Bing Broderick, Bakery Director, Haley House has also continued to deepen its relationships with the Boston arts community. The cafe walls exhibit unique and thought-provoking works by local artists on a rotating basis (most recently, self-portrait quilts made at Rosie's Place, a women's shelter in Boston). The cafe has also begun to host independent film screenings and live jazz performances during Sunday brunch.

from Rosie's Place

Both Kathe McKenna, Executive Director of Haley House, and Didi Emmons, Executive Chef, have been diligently testing new sources of local, organic ingredients to add to the menu. [Pssst! Organic beer and wine recently added!] Didi's cafe menu continues to change with the seasons, and, on August 15, Haley House will host a benefit dinner for the Federation of Massachusetts Farmers Markets.

The Job Training Program itself has grown, as trainees are now taught skills on the prepared foods and catering side of the business, in addition to the bakery side that has always formed the core of the program curriculum. This shift has given the Bakery Cafe the flexibility to continue growing its catering business to meet the unexpectedly high level of consumer demand.

I visited during Sunday Jazz Brunch and stayed the afternoon to catch up with the Haley House community over fresh strawberries, carrot raisin/vegan cranberry walnut muffins, and Fair Trade coffee (w/soy). I also picked up a copy of Didi's second book, Entertaining for a Vegetarian Planet, an IACP award-winner in 2004 (International Association of Culinary Professionals - my first recipe experience to follow in my next post).

I encourage readers in the Boston area to drop by Haley House to taste its delicious baked goods, organic/Fair Trade beverages, and creative selection of fresh and flavorful salads and sandwiches. Produce comes from local, organic farms (as much as possible), and prices are extremely neighborhood-friendly ($5.75 for a curried chicken wrap w/grapes+coconut and a side of "Haley's Healthy Slaw"). Haley House also has a great catering program - to support your needs at work or at play.

So please go to Haley House and have a muffin for me. Nourish yourself, and support the Bakery Cafe in its mission to become a self-sustaining non-profit organization supporting happiness, health, and economic independence in the Boston Dudley Square community.

12 Dade Street
in Dudley Square, Roxbury
Boston, MA

Mon-Fri: 7:30am-4pm
Saturday: 9am-3pm
Sunday: 9am-10:30am Early Bird Special;
10:30am-3:30pm Jazz Brunch

Logo by Boston design firm Continuum (pro bono)


benren said...

I will definitely go to Haley House and have a muffin for you. It looks so delicious.

Genevieve said...

Hello, hello. Kathe has alerted me to some fabulous pictures taken at the "Dinner and a Movie" event at Haley House Bakery Cafe on August 3, as part of the Roxbury Film Festival.

Boston Faces Boston Places: Roxbury Film Festival - Dinner and a Movie

Marty said...

Haley House is one of the best places for a lunch, coffee or a quick snack on the run. Ambiance, ambiance...and a diverse clientèle in a neighborhood that is ready to flower once again. Haley House leads the way.