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When Andrew Stoloff and Leslie Crary purchased Rubicon Bakers, Richmond, Calif., it was the beginning of pie season, and they were overwhelmed by the task of filling pumpkin tart orders.
“I try not to remember that,” Mr. Stoloff said. “We only had two rack ovens, and we were baking pumpkin tarts around the clock and couldn’t keep up with our orders. I had to call some of our buyers and tell them we were going to short them on the pumpkin tarts a few days before Thanksgiving.”
Mr. Stoloff owned the mistake and promised customers it would never happen again. Rubicon Bakers didn’t lose a customer from the incident, and Mr. Stoloff and Ms. Crary have since learned the ropes of the baking business … and they’re still learning as they go, sharing some of those lessons in this episode of Since Sliced Bread.
The sweet goods bakery was started as a non-profit in 1993 by Rubicon Programs as a job training program for the Bay area’s homeless population, those recovering from addiction and the formerly incarcerated – populations that often find it difficult to obtain work. Ten years ago Mr. Stoloff and Ms. Crary, a restaurant-owner and lawyer, respectively, purchased the bakery and turned it into a profitable business without losing the mission of recruiting and training from these vulnerable populations.