Conscience Bakery: “Tasty Treats for Social Justice”
Jessica Kania has been creating baked goodies since she was able to hold a spoon. She recently graduated from Ohio State with a degree in International Studies, Economics and French and plans to start graduate school soon. In the meantime, she is working to combine her love of baking organic, all-natural goodies with her desire to support organizations that help to promote international human-rights and peacemaking through her new business – Conscience Bakery. Jessica’s goal after graduation is “to work in post-conflict environments as a peace maker” and she’d eventually like to be “on the ground providing services to civilians in countries recovering from war.” Conscience Bakery will support organizations that are supporting work in those fields by donating 100% of all its profits to them.
Jessica came up with the idea for her business after she found there was an “untapped market for [her] specific kind of baked goods- organic, all natural goodies that can be altered to fit into almost any diet, be it vegan, gluten-free, sugar sensitive.” She hopes her use of Fair Trade and local ingredients, plus the fact that all of the profits will be donated will ring true with consumers who “love the idea of eating a delicious treat and donating to worthy causes at the same time.” Currently she is in a transitional period between college and graduate school, and considers Conscience Bakery to be a learning experience both professionally and personally, not a money-making venture.
Her favorite things to make are cupcakes because they are “an amazing canvas for different flavor combinations.” I sampled her Raspberry Truffle ($3), Blackout ($3), Classic Vanilla ($2) and Tiramisu ($3) creations. Raspberry Truffle and Blackout were both dark chocolate cupcakes and the cake had a rich chocolaty flavor and wonderfully dense and moist texture. These were filled cupcakes – the Raspberry with a tart raspberry compote and the Blackout with Fair Trade, single-source Ghanian chocolate ganache. The fillings were delicious bursts of flavor and a nice surprise in both cupcakes.
The vanilla and tiramisu cupcakes were also tasty and the presentation was nice. Her version of buttercream is not super sweet and had great flavor. Jessica has a range of cupcake flavors available on the menu but if you have something different in mind, she will work with you to create custom orders. Prices for Basic Cupcakes are $2 each, $20 a dozen regular sized, and $25 for two dozen mini sized. Gourmet Cupcakes are prices at $2, $35 and $40.
She also has a selection of Giant Cookies, mostly classic flavors like oatmeal, peanut butter, chocolate chip, sugar and snickerdoodles. Cookies are priced at $2 each and $20 a dozen. Muffins, breads and scones ($3 each/$20 a dozen) round out the menu.
All of Conscience Bakery’s goods are vegan and some are gluten-free. Ingredients include organic flour and Fair Trade cocoa and coffee as well as local items when possible. Just specify what you need when ordering.
Fifty percent of the profits are invested in Kiva, a microfinancing program that connects people who want to lend money to alleviate poverty in poorer nations. According to their stats, as of November 2009, they have “facilitated over $100 million in loans.” The other fifty percent of her profits are donated to Women in Security, Conflict Management and Peace (WISCOMP) which strives to “enhance the role of women as peace builders, negotiators and as agents for nonviolent social change.”