The first thing I saw was turquoise – bright, vivid, imaginative. I walked a little further, stuck between wanting to gallivant forward and taking my time as I approached the bakery – our bakery.

Fully inside, I could see everything that I had been seeing via photographs for the last year; I saw the decorative plants, the plush bean bags, and swings – yes, swings – that fused together to create a space of relaxation and peace.

Most importantly, I saw one of our bakers, Liziki, exit from the back part of the bakery, leaping to give us greetings and hugs.

We had arrived at KG 176 #13 – The Women’s Bakery Flagship Bakery in Kigali.

I remember when this was an idea tossed around a few years ago; what if we had a training center and a bakery in one place? What if we could have one location that would be a model for future locations?

Now, the idea is a reality and I am sitting in a bakery café – a Women’s Bakery café – that is operated by over 10 women that have been with us for several years. Again, as it always is with this work, I am in awe of what all of us, especially women, are capable of.

I am proud to be a team member of an organization that pushes forth the kind of work that blends both business and social impact for women.

I am inspired to see the growth of an idea into a reality – one that not only enables women to have gainful, sustainable employment, but also brings unique products to market (I mean, who doesn’t love avocado frosting?)

And mostly, I am humbled by what is possible.

In the last 3 years with The Women’s Bakery I have learned the power of asking questions and of imagining something beyond what I can conceive.

I couldn’t even begin to imagine that this would be what our flagship was like. We have our offices next to our industrial ovens. We have the production space lined with clean, high-quality tiles. We are running a business and we are kicking ass.

That is really what bread power is all about and I am beyond grateful to witness it and experience it in person.

To all of my team members at TWB: keep rising, keep going. This is truly only the beginning.