GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Dégagé Ministries held a grand opening Monday afternoon for a new bakery that will help raise money for its Grand Rapids women’s shelter.
The funding generated from Open Door Bakery will benefit the Open Door Women’s Center.
The bakery on the corner of Division Avenue and Cherry Street serves cookies and cupcakes made from scratch, along with coffee and other treats.
Thelma Ensink, the executive director, said using baked goods to help fund shelter operations is nothing new.
“This first started as Paul’s Mom’s Cookies and was rebranded just last year to more closely reflect this mission of Dégagé Ministries,” Ensink said. “Each night we welcome about 100 women into shelter here in Grand Rapids. We are the only emergency shelter for women.”
The retail location employs five people and is also being assisted by volunteers. Ensink said the new location will allow the organization to make an even greater impact.
“To be able to find that worth and that hope, to be able to work here, and to be able to interact with our customers that are coming into the space. It just brings so much joy to them,” Ensink said.
Theresa Holliman is one of the workers at the new retail shop and said it has helped give her a pathway to independence.
“I get to give back to the same place that gave me a place to stay,” Holliman said. “I was actually staying in my mom’s truck so it started to get cold and I came here and stayed here all winter and they helped me get a place.”
Theresa said the opportunities provided by the bakery have been lifechanging.
“I had been out of work for a little over a year because of a domestic violence relationship I was in,” Holliman said. “This place saved me … without them I don’t know where I would be.”
The regular hours for the bakery are Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.