Grant #517

The Pastry Project

January 9, 2023

A Free Pastry Course Is Whipping up Job Opportunities in Seattle

Can the humble chocolate chip cookie be an engine of opportunity? Heather Hodge and Emily Kim think so. 

Heather and Emily are the co-founders of The Pastry Project—a 14-week program that offers free pastry training to people who face barriers in finding work. The course begins with the basics of baking and ends with its students mastering the art of complicated (and delectable) croissants and danishes. 

In under four months, new bakers are introduced not just to the delights of sweet treats, but to valuable skills that make them excellent job candidates after graduation. In fact, when that time rolls around, The Pastry Project refers them to Seattle-area bakeries, restaurants, cafes, and shops. 

This spring, The Pastry Project will welcome its sixth cohort, and Heather and Emily want it to continue to grow. Our grant will help supplement the money the two make from selling their own pastry products through Take + Bakery to pay for additional ingredients and overhead costs for student training. Now doesn’t that sound like a recipe for success? 

Category: Education, Empowerment, Food



After 11+ years, we’re signing off and closing applications for good. We’ve supported 571 projects with $571,000 in grant dollars. We’re so proud to have celebrated such incredible work. Please visit for more information on other AWESOME chapters! And thanks for sharing so much awesomeness with us.

Team Awesome Without Borders