To everything in life there is a season. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to sow and a time to reap. For The Women’s Bakery, this year has already held many seasons.
In January, we sowed the seeds of recommitment to our social enterprise model and fully leaned into The Women’s Bakery 2.0. In February, we rolled up our sleeves and began kneading out more efficient bakery workflows and operations. These skills were honed in large thanks to Rob VanErven, baker extraordinaire, on loan from corporate partner Rademaker, BV.
In March, we celebrated the strength of women with International Women’s Day. April brought a season of remembrance for the 25th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide. May ushered in a season of honoring the mothers in our lives, especially the bread winners at The Women’s Bakery. And June brought a season of loss and sadness.
At the beginning of June, we learned from The Women’s Bakery’s first employee and Co-Founder, Julie Greene, that her time with the company was drawing to a close. The next week, our team was forced to grieve another loss - a strong bakery woman, Kayitesi, who died unexpectedly.
Both of these women embody the spirit, values, and principles of The Women’s Bakery.
To Kayitesi, we say rest in peace strong woman.
To Julie, we say thank you. Words are not enough to describe Julie’s incredible contributions to and impact on The Women’s Bakery. She has been an integral part of birthing, fostering, and building The Women’s Bakery to the place it is today. She gave her blood, sweat, and tears to ensure that the bakery women had every opportunity for gainful employment and social empowerment in their lives, and she committed herself to supplying communities with access to nutritious, affordable breads. The world is a better place because of this work. Julie, you are an incredible person. Thank you for leading us, working alongside us, and making us better. You will forever be a part of The Women’s Bakery and we will be forever grateful to and for you.
And so like The Byrds said, “To every season, [we] turn, turn, turn.”