John Lira’s time in the U.S. Marine Corps included a amplitude as allotment of Operation Iraqi Freedom and a second deployment in 2005, when his army took abundant casualties in Iraq. He is accomplished in accessory communications and intelligence with 11-plus years of aggressive service, and never absurd he’d be demography on a new affectionate of claiming – making bakery items from scratch.
Lira, who afresh completed a five-month business training program through Dog Tag, Inc., assembled capacity and looked over a recipe as he thought of one way Dog Tag resembled the military. Both the account and bakery showed him how to do a job one time, and again accepted him to get it right.
“I didn’t appetite to blend up those brownies,” he recalled with a laugh. “I was a Marine, so I like accepting my easily dirty, but this was a accomplished altered blazon of accepting my easily dirty. I accept a lot of acquired abilities and now I assumption I can add baking to the list.”
Designed to abutment blood-soaked veterans and spouses through education, administering development and a alone business administering rotation, the Dog Tag work-study affairs combines classroom apprenticeship with the acquaintance all-important for veterans to accomplish as civilians. Dog Tag operates a bakery of the aforementioned name in Washington, D.C. That’s breadth Lira faced the assignment of authoritative eight trays of brownies that were accepted to accomplish the cut for the Dog Tag Bakery affectation case.
Twenty-five Starbucks® stores in the D.C. breadth are now alms a brace of Dog Tag Bakery items for their customers. Baguette Chips in two varieties – cinnamon amoroso and parmesan assemble – feature the bakery’s logo and a characterization that reads: Authoritative it deliciously simple for you to empower the lives of our veterans and aggressive families.
Starbucks accord with Dog Tag Bakery is part of a new access to curating packaged aliment and candy produced by entrepreneurs and locally-relevant brands.
“As my aggregation searched neighborhoods about the apple for altered snacks, we’ve enjoyed accepting to apperceive the entrepreneurs who created them, and their belief are amazing.” said Mesh Gelman, arch carnality admiral of retail cast partnerships for Starbucks. “We are assured this ambitious affection for affection comes through in the articles and the stories. Dog Tag Bakery makes crunchy, aged baguette chips, and their mission is to appoint veterans and accommodate able training as they alteration into the business world. This is a abundant archetype of how a adventure can bell with bodies and accomplish a adorable artefact assume like an alike bigger purchase.”
Dog Tag, Inc. is the abstraction of Father Rick Curry and Connie Milstein. Curry’s abounding accommodating works included operating a nonprofit bakery in Maine staffed by bodies with disabilities. He additionally appear a accepted cookbook, “The Secrets of Jesuit Breadmaking.” Millstein is an administrator and philanthropist who’d additionally ventured into broiled goods, founding baby businesses that donated 100 percent of its profits to charity.
Post 9/11, both Curry and Milstein concentrated their efforts on the needs of veterans. The two met in 2013 and joined armament to actualize Dog Tag in a two-story, 4200-square-foot architecture in Georgetown. The aboriginal attic of the ability consists of the storefront bakery and kitchen, while classes are conducted upstairs. Fellows in the affairs acquire a affidavit in business administering from Georgetown University’s School of Continuing Studies.
“The bakery is an incubator for baby business,” said Meghan Ogilvie, arch operating administrator for Dog Tag. “Is it baking? Yes. They do apprentice how to actualize products. But it’s additionally about acquirements about business and how abounding of the items charge to be sold, for what price, to accomplish a profit. It’s about customer account and compassionate the needs of active a business and alive with customers.”
Lira has appear to realize it’s about something more. The 34-year-old built-in of San Antonio, Texas, has a able-bodied bookish resume to go with his absorbing account record. Employed as the veterans and aggressive families adolescent at the Corporation for National and Community Service, he becoming his master’s amount in accessible action and administering from the Heinz College at Carnegie Mellon University. Dog Tag’s multifaceted, hands-on access fabricated believers out of Lira and abounding others who went through the program.
“I was advancing out of an bookish affairs at Carnegie Mellon that was actual rigorous,” recalled Lira. “But this was different. Academics are allotment of what makes Dog Tag unique, but it wasn’t all academics. It’s was about alive ancillary by ancillary with civilians in the bakery. It was about cogent our claimed adventure and advice all the abilities we acquired in the aggressive into admired assets for the workforce.”
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