“Dave’s Killer Bread” Employs Former “Criminals,” Giving Them a Second Chance at Life

Given that 1 in 4 Americans has a criminal record (mostly for victimless “crimes”), more employers need to follow the lead of this organic bread company

The founder of America’s top-selling organic bread company is an ex-con, who spent 15 years in federal prison. Dave Dahl’s wildly successful career began when his brother gave him a second chance by welcoming him back to the family bakery.

Dave made the most of the opportunity by creating a delicious, whole-grain organic bread that made the company hundreds of millions of dollars. Now, he’s returning the favor by employing over 100 ex-criminals and running a non-profit called Second Chance Employment dedicated to teaching other companies how to safely hire and rehabilitate hundreds more.

Between 30% and 40% of Dave’s 250+ employees in his Oregon bakery have criminal records. They hold positions ranging from entry level jobs to management roles, responsible for critical bakery operations.

The company’s website notes that 1 in 4 Americans have criminal records, which reduce the chance of a callback or job offer by 50%.

On top of that 86% of federal prisoners are locked up for victimless crimes, such as selling marijuana or operating an unlicensed business.

With only 5% of the world’s population, the United States (aka “land of the free”) is home to 25% of the world’s prisoners.

Often, criminals, unable to get a job, fall right back into drugs or other crime to pay their court penalties and end up back in prison, in a vicious, hopeless cycle.

“If I hadn’t gotten the job at Dave’s Killer Bread I probably wouldn’t have made it,” says a line lead and trainer named Heather. “The people that I work with, that are in recovery like me, we’re helping each other feel encouraged and capable and tall. Because of this job I’m alive. It’s pretty profound.”

“It feels good to finally be in a position where your work and your attitude speaks for itself; it’s not about your past,” says production supervisor Rahsaan. “Because of this job, I can provide for my family, with extra to spare. Man, it feels good to say that.”