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Good Rock Fig 3

 

Just back from China, I’m delighted to be able to bring you news from our Fig Bakery project. Thank you for your faithful and patient support. As you know from our updates, it has been challenging to birth our vision of real life job opportunities to reality. But… we have done it and our Fig Bakery shop is now open! Our young apprentices are working with intention and engaging with the local community.

Born from a vision to create meaningful opportunities for young adult orphans with disability, our bakery workshop was opened in 2009. This is where apprentices have been taught life skills and vocational training according to their abilities and own aspirations. We have a dedicated team of therapists, professionals, project managers and volunteers who make this possible. We are both visionary and pioneering, being the first NGO to bring opportunity through social enterprise to Xinjiang, PR China.

After almost 2 years of negotiation, design and planning we opened our Fig Bakery Shop in Urumqi orphanage’s city centre facility. Located in a busy community, we’re able to welcome local customers and friends of Good Rock to enjoy a wide variety of products all made using natural ingredients to our unique and special recipes.

Even though I have spent lots of time with our apprentices I was impressed all over again at their capabilities as well as their calm and cheerful demeanour.
It can be quite demanding serving customers and keeping the shelves stocked.

It was a huge achievement to open our Fig Bakery shop and we now have the challenge of succeeding in the competitive market of operating a retail bakery. 

Challenges: We’re different because we use wholesome, natural ingredients and we have the added costs of support staff for our apprentices so our prices are a little higher than other local bakeries.

We want people to become fans of Fig not just buy from us once or twice out of ‘pity’, so we need to keep new and innovative ideas coming and source expert help from creative bakers willing to come and share their expertise.

Good Rock Fig 1

Good Rock Fig 2

Our shop is within the confines of a gated orphanage. We’d like to pursue local registration of Good Rock so that we can open a 2nd independent shop where we can welcome disabled young people from the local community. Currently there are few resources for families with disabled children (who are growing up). Good Rock’s history and experience in Xinjiang put us in an excellent position to help these families and tackle the issue of abandonment before it happens.

 

We are incredibly grateful for your faithful support of our Fig project and we hope that you are encouraged by our Fig story so far.  We will work hard to
m
ake our bakery shop a success and we aim to look at the possibilities of enlarging our vision to create more opportunities and empower more young
people through meaningful jobs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jacqui Shurr, Executive Director, October 2015