I thought I knew what I was getting into with this story. When I called the organizers of Together We Bake, I imagined going to shoot video of women baking and exchanging tips on how to make the best chocolate chip cookie.
Sure, I knew this story also had a serious side: women coming straight from prison or homelessness to this bake shop in Alexandria looking for a second chance at life. But I never anticipated just how honest these woman would be with me or the tears they would shed during the interview.
Up to this point in the interview, they hadn’t told me anything I didn’t expect to hear, especially since most of what they told me I had also read online in research.
Colida was just as honest when she told me about her felony embezzlement charge that happened years ago. When I asked if she was the same person today that she was five years ago, Colida said, “No, no. Not at all.”
The problem for these women is that no matter how much they change, their pasts never will.
While learning to bake for a living, these women started a friendship with an unspoken pact: to push each other to move forward and never look back.
For more information on Together We Bake, visit their website: https://new.togetherwebake.org/
Also, on Wednesday, April 5th, they will be selling their baked goods at Port City Brewing in Alexandria for Spring2ACTion Day.