Scarlet’s Bakery expands mission of employing trafficked, exploited women

by Taylor Durden, WAVE 3 News

A Louisville bakery with a unique mission is looking forward to the new year. Scarlet’s Bakery is expanding and opening a new location in St. Matthews.

The bakery opened up its current shop in Shelby Park in December 2015.

Founder & Executive Director Rachelle Starr said the idea came out of her organization Scarlet’s Hope, an organization that helps exploited women and trafficked women.

“Through that, I realized that there was a huge need for job creation and a huge need for counseling and therapy and someone to walk alongside a woman that had these things in her past,” Starr said.

Immediately after they opened the bakery, customers asked when they would move to the east side of Louisville, Starr said.

Cookies from Scarlet’s Bakery.

The new building on Fairfax Avenue in St. Matthews is under construction. Starr expects the new location to open in February.

The new location will be a little different than the Shelby Park one.

“This is not going to be where everything will be baked necessarily. It’s a retail location,” Starr said. “We are going to offer 46 seats in this location. We only have 18 in the other one.”

The new location is geared towards retail use, with plenty of seating for customers.

Both locations have the same mission.

“We are empowering women to provide for themselves and their families that will last hopefully for years and years and years to come,” Starr said.

Scarlet’s Bakery has employed 25 since it opened in 2015. The women go through an 18-month program that offers them resources they may need to start a new path.

“Before we had Scarlet’s Bakery, we were just handing out different things. We would hand out clothing we would hand out food, it was a lot of handouts,” Starr said. “I consider this more of a hand up. You’re learning skills you’re learning how to provide for yourself.”

Scarlet’s Bakery has employed 25 women since they opened three years ago and Starr hopes to be able to open up about 10 more jobs with the opening of the St. Matthews location.

“It’s a grace filled employment place,” Starr said. “We can walk alongside you until you graduate the program and you feel like you are strong and you can stand on your own two feet.”

For more information about Scarlet’s Bakery, click here.

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