Mentally impaired earn their bread at Nanjing bakery
Updated: 2015-10-20 13:14
By Liu Jing(chinadaily.com.cn)
Former US ambassador to China Gary Locke (left) with an intellectual challenged baker in Nanjing, Jiangsu province on June 21, 2013. [Photo/provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
The bakery for everybody
Since its establishment in 2007, Amity Bakery has won the support of the public.
In 2014, Amity Bakery initiated a crowd funding campaign on Taobao for a new location. Within 40 days, the program has attracted 1,325 donors with a total donation of 120,000 yuan ($18,850). In the following funding launched on an online charity platform run by Tencent, 2,167 donors contributed about 400,000 yuan. Its new branch at the city's Dayinjian Alley called "bakery for everybody" opened its doors in May thanks to the help of more than 3,000 donors.
This was not the first time the bakery attracted the attention of Chinese netizens. In 2013, when a post on Amity Bakery written by Tao Ran, vice president of Alibaba Group went viral on Sina weibo, the post accumulated over 22,000 reposts leading to a dramatic increase in orders on Amity Bakery's online store.
In the same year, former US Ambassador to China Gary Locke visited the bakery during which he joined some employees to make cookies. The bakery named an apple pie on the menu "Luopai", or "Locke pie", and is now a signature product.
Another star product is the "Sharon Roll", a cinnamon roll made according to a secret recipe provided by Sharon Johnston, wife of Canada's Governor General David Johnston, during her 2013 visit to the bakery.
"With the support of our customers and donors, we've gradually made ends meet," said Pan, noting that the business managed to break even last year. The Mid-autumn Festival, which fell on Sept 27 this year, saw the bakery sell more than 7,500 boxes of moon cakes and cookies.