A Fresh Take on Employment
Fostering Confidence in Young People with Disabilities
On a quiet street in Changsha, inviting smells of freshly baked bread and pastries emerge from Bach’s Bakery. This is no ordinary bakery—besides serving exceptional German baked goods, it is operated by hearing impaired individuals. We are thrilled to announce that ICC will now be affiliated with Bach’s Bakery, as part of our ongoing commitment to social enterprise and the employment of people with disabilities.
Bach’s Bakery was founded over twenty years ago by a German couple, Uwe and Dorothee Brutzer. Dorothee, a gifted speech therapist, joined our Family Partners Program in 2020. When the Brutzers shared their plans to leave China, ICC saw an opportunity to continue the wonderful work they had started. A company affiliated with ICC agreed to take over the bakery. In need of a head baker, Markus Hofmueller and his wife Hannah, answered the call. This summer they moved from Ningxia province and settled into their new roles at the bakery.
Training and Equipping
Hearing impaired individuals can face unique challenges as they come of age and begin to seek out meaningful employment. They can encounter limited opportunities and social stigma. Bach’s Bakery has trained over thirty hearing impaired apprentices, some of whom have continued to work at Bach’s, while others have gone on to positions in other bakeries and hotels around the country. In addition to equipping them with a valuable skill set, the bakery also fosters confidence and independence. Bach’s Bakery will offer opportunities to young people from ICC’s Changsha vocational training program as well. A recent visit brought hands-on experiences in the kitchen, learning a unique style of baking which challenged the young people and ignited their creativity.
To further deepen the partnership between ICC and Bach’s Bakery, our Little Ark food trucks will now also be selling the bakery’s delicious treats. While the bakery operates as a financially independent social enterprise and does not provide or receive financial support from ICC, our affiliation is part of our wider mission to create opportunities for people with disabilities, so that they may live fulfilling lives in a welcoming society that accepts and respects them.
If you'd like to donate to this important work, please visit www.aficc.org/donate. Thank you!