In the spirit of Giving Tuesday, we’re sharing Irlanda’s story, a 2015 graduate whose training was made possible thanks to a scholarship. Find out more about the many ways you can support Hot Bread Kitchen and help women follow their passion to launch new careers as bakers and entrepreneurs here.
In 2013, Irlanda moved to New York from Mexico to make a new life for herself and her son. A single mother, she supported her family as a cashier in a grocery store and earned extra money selling birthday cakes to family and friends.
When the store where she worked closed, she found herself unemployed and without options. A local social services agency referred her to Hot Bread Kitchen. “It’s really difficult being mother and father to my son,” Irlanda said. “I wanted to prove that I could do something great.”
She was accepted into the Bakers In Training program in December 2014. She graduated this September, and quickly landed a position in the bakery at Whole Foods Market in Greenwich, CT, close to the home she shares with her son, mother and sister.
Irlanda credits the training program with her easy transition. “At Whole Foods, they’re like, ‘where did you learn? You’re really good!’ I say, ‘I know, I came from Hot Bread Kitchen.'”
She attends the continuing education classes offered by our Alumni Network and plans to join HBK Incubates to grow her bakery and catering business. We can’t wait!