New bakery offers recipe for second chance - WDRB 41 Louisville News

New bakery offers recipe for second chance

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB)-- Exploited and trafficked women are getting a second chance thanks to a new bakery opening in Louisville's Shelby Park.

Scarlet's Bakery is hosting its grand opening Saturday at their East Oak Street location.

On a busy corner in the heart of Shelby Park, the bakery's 100-year-old building has gone through quite the revitalization.

"It's been neat to hear the stories about what used to be here and seeing it revived has brought life back into the community," said Rachelle Starr, founder and executive director of the bakery.

Starr and her staff gutted and restored the building that now offers sweet treats and a warm welcome.

"The first thing we say is 'Welcome to Scarlet's Bakery.' We want people to feel like they're at home here," said Rachel Eichberger, business development director.

But beyond the sugar-coated family recipes, the bakery is serving as an even deeper life restoration for the women of Scarlet's who mix, measure and bake with a purpose.

"To see women that thought they weren't valuable or worth something be able to have an opportunity to provide for their families and that makes it all worth it," said Starr.

Starr founded "Scarlet Hope," eight years ago. The program helps women in Louisville who have been victims of trafficking and exploitation.

"We're not focusing on their past. We're focusing on their future. And so they're a vital part of Scarlet's Bakery to make it successful," said Starr. 

Women leaving the adult entertainment industry need a new job and a way to make money, but until starting the bakery, Starr didn't really have an outlet for the women. Now they have a place to learn new skills in hopes of building a better life.

"That's everything from baking, to cleaning, to register or barista skills with our espresso machine. And I'm just glad there's a place in the city where we can provide that second chance," said Eichberger.

Working beside pastry chef Kenna Nelson, the women create homemade treats for the storefront and catering business.

"It's satisfying every day. At the end of our shift when we clock out, we've done real work and you can see it from start to finish," said Nelson.

She can already see how the skills she's handing down serve an even bigger purpose.

"We go around punching dough a lot and it feels really good sometimes. Just that hand on work of dough. It's like work out your aggression and it will make it taste even better," said Nelson.

Scarlet's Bakery is located at 741 East Oak Street.

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