Cupcakes Solve Everything: Zoe’s Cupcake Cafe

21 Feb

Imagine you run a nonprofit that helps teen moms, but a few problems keep running through your mind:

  • How will the charity get a regular source of income?
  • How will it help teen moms become self-sufficient instead of just giving handouts?
  • How will it become well-known in the community?

Then the answer comes to you — cupcakes!

The idea is simple but brilliant: start a bakery/cafe that will hire teen mothers and donate its proceeds to your charity.

So that’s what Zoe’s Place of Bergen County, New Jersey did. Zoe’s Cupcake Cafe was born.

From the web site:

“Almost from the moment we defined our mission, we envisioned a small business that would provide sustainable funding for our programs, and employment opportunities for the girls. The Cafe is unique in that it is a place where business and mission overlap. The young women will receive more than just a paycheck.  With our help, and training by our pastry chefs, they will have the opportunity to have a successful work experience.”

Zoe’s Cupcake Cafe tackles an issue often brought up in politically charged conversations. Many feel that teen moms don’t deserve help because it will foster irresponsibility. The Cupcake Cafe counters that idea by providing help that involves meaningful work. It’s like that old saying about how if you give a man a fish, he eats for a day, but if you teach a man to fish, he eats forever. Likewise, if you give a teen mama a job with a great work environment, she will have the ability to put food on the table forever. Zoe’s Cupcake Cafe has proven that compassion and practicality can be one and the same.


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