Vincentian Businesses: La Espiga Bakery

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La Espiga Bread ResellerMuhammad Yunus, the Bangladeshi Nobel Peace Prize laureate and economics professor, first coined the concept of a social business when he called for a “new kind of capitalism that serves humanity’s most pressing needs.”

Fr. Raphael Verlux, CM

Fr. Raphael Verlux, CM

Since then, companies have sprouted up around the globe to generate a modest profit that is used to address a social mission rather than paid to investors. Father Raphael Verlux, C.M., has been working in Tabarre, Haiti on a host of projects to aid the poor in that community. With support from Caritas and ASHUADE (Asociación Humanitaria de Ayuda al Desarrollo), he was able to build a bakery, La Espiga, that will eventually employ 60 local people. However, because power in the area is unreliable, he needed to secure a private power supply.  A grant of $30,000 given through the VFHI enabled him to buy a generators and supplies so the bakery could begin producing pastries and bread. Delivery to local supermarkets began in November 2012.

Fifteen new jobs have been created so far: eight bread makers, two delivery jobs, one cashier, a shop worker, a supervisor, an administrator and a security officer.

“The bakery is working very well,” Father Verlux reports.