A smiling chef at Haley House

Smoothing the transition from prison to employment

Haley House, Boston, Massachusetts

Good things are happening at Dudley Dough. There is pizza and baked goods and ice cream and salads—using many organic and locally sourced ingredients. There is camaraderie among the employees, many of whom faced serious employment challenges, yet now have a stake in the business’s success—and among the customers, who now have a congenial place to congregate after work. Most importantly, there is hope.

That hope starts in the basement of Haley House Bakery Café, where a new kitchen produces the wholesale muffins, cookies, scones and dough sold upstairs at the Café and at the nearby Dudley Dough. It also houses TEP, Haley House’s Transitional Employment Program for men and women coming out of prison. As Bing Broderick, the Executive Director of Haley House, explains, “It’s hard to find work coming out of incarceration. Culinary work is an area that has fewer barriers.”

Of course, the program isn’t limited to baking—it provides a host of life skills, from job readiness training to appropriate ways to use social media. “Some of our people are 45 years old and have never had a job; they’ve been in prison for 25 years. We support people through that transition to working life.”

A loan from BlueHub Capital, then known as Boston Community Capital, made the Haley House kitchen construction project possible—and freed up the funds to open Dudley Dough. “From the moment we opened our Bakery Café," Broderick enthuses, BlueHub Capital "has supported every stage of our growth. They have been cheering for us at every step. We were excited to be able to do the loan with them because they are such good friends and partners—they understand what we are doing at the deepest level."