Now that November is here, construction will soon be starting on the future home of Women’s Bean Project… look at this massive space!!! Life changing work will be happening here!
This coming Spring of 2022, Womens Bean Project will make the move from it’s 2,500 square foot building in Curtis Park (a former firehouse)… to this 20,000 square foot spot at 1300 W. West Alameda (formerly a used car dealership). “We will serve more women.. and we’ll serve them better,” CEO Tamra Ryan tells me. “We’ll be able to operate based on the women’s needs rather than space limitations.”
Women’s Bean Project grew 40% during the 2020 pandemic! And with the larger space, it will be able to hire more women… up to 100 women a year, women who have faced chronic unemployment. And, the new Women’s Bean Project location will be accessible to public transit and adjacent to future supportive housing. Aside from the larger production and shipping area you see here, there will be private meeting spaces for counseling and mentoring, classroom space for life skills training, a computer lab… and yes, right through the front door will be the wonderful food products and mixes on display, ready for customers to pick up.
The food is delicious.. but beyond that, the women who make the mixes for us all to enjoy are discovering a new path in life for themselves and their families, thanks to this transitional employment program where they are supported and given responsibility as well as guidance as they sharpen their skills and focus on the future. Upon graduation from the program, the women are job ready and confident. In FY20, 100% of women were employed over a year after graduating from Women’s Bean Project.
I’m very excited for the next chapter for Women’s Bean Project!… but first, I’m ready to head to the firehouse location on Curtis for holiday shopping (thinking of the Firehouse Chili on this cold day today)!