The CSG Bakery at first glance may seem like any other business that has baked goods up for sale. A small sit down café type restaurant sits across from the bakery itself. Here customers can purchase many of the goods, at least if they get there shortly after the sit down eatery opens. The éclairs and cream puffs made by the workers are actually quite good and the cheese Danish exceeds expectations.
What sets this business apart from many other bakeries operating today is its purpose. Of course, like all businesses it exists to make money, but the CSG Bakery does not make its profits off of the baked goods it sells. Instead, the bakery is a training program from those recovering from mental illnesses who wish to go back to work. Many people there are on social security while in the vocational rehabilitation program. Unlike many bakeries whose operations start around three o’clock in the morning, workers arrive at the bakery at 8:30 and start the daily tasks. In the course of the training, which typically lasts 10 months with a two-week workday, people at the bakery will learn how to roll various types of dough, mix various ingredients, and fold and prepare various packaging. While the day is regimented, the pace is not quite so swift as a factory and often there are more people than are needed for the tasks at hand. Many participants after a certain point will get to practice customer service skills in the store attached to the bakery.
While I am not personally a big fan of their breads or cookies, if you are looking for a bargain you can often find the day old varieties on sale for ten cents a loaf in the shop and they usually go quite slowly. If you just wanted to stop in for a quick drink or perhaps a not very nutritious lunch of a hot dog and some cheese nachos, you can certainly do that. The operation hours of 8-2:30 may seem to be a little odd, but most of the business of the store itself is generated by people enrolled in the other two counseling programs called Options and Psych Rehab operated by the same group and in the complex of buildings with the bakery itself. My comments that the store would indeed be fully profitable without any taxpayer funding if they obtained a license to sell nicotine were not met with approval.
Business purchasing items from this bakery also reap another benefit. Such a purchase can be written off on their taxes and local businessman and women take advantage of the fact and use the products in their stores. So, if you are in Sunbury, which contains the famous Hotel Edison on Market Street, why not take a stroll down North Second Street and see what the store has to offer. You can also gain a morale boost by knowing that in some small way you are helping others.