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Director of Bakery Operations
HQ Phone:  (323) 526-1254
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130 W Bruno Street
Los Angeles, California,90012
Homeboy Industries provides hope, training and support to formerly gang-involved and recently incarcerated men and women, allowing them to redirect their lives and become contributing members of the community. 100% of proceeds benefits Homeboy's comprehensive ... more.
"We help them get a driver's license, a bank account, and a resume so when they leave us they have a lot to offer," said Herb Fingerhut, director of operations at Homeboy Bakery.
"I was raised Catholic and I've met a lot of priests, but none are closer to a living saint than Father Greg," said Fingerhut. Fingerhut was going through a rough patch when he joined the Homeboy team. Newly divorced and unable to take over his family's bakery in Chicago, he answered a job advertisement for Homeboy and moved to California three weeks later. "I brought this tough guy mentality with me, and I got that in return from the employees. In the past three years, I've been humbled. A lot of the staff have had it 30 times tougher in their lives and they didn't ask for it," Fingerhut said. One particular employee, Marcos, changed the Chicago baker's perspective on his rough-around-the-edges staff. After giving Marcos some criticism on a carrot cake, Marcos tried to punch Fingerhut. "I grabbed his hand and said 'never again,'" Fingerhut said. The two sat down to talk after the incident. "He told me the story of his life and it brought me to tears. He hugged me so hard, he cracked my front tooth. You really get out of this place what you put into it," Fingerhut said. What Homeboy is producing is giving other, high-end bakeries a run for their money. Everything at Homeboy is made fresh each day and from scratch. "I want our homeboys and homegirls to take pride in what they are making," Fingerhut said, adding that the bakery's croissants are one of their specialties. "The people that come to us know we can do a lot for them, that we can help change their lives, but Homeboy has taught me the true meaning of giving and getting respect," Fingerhut said.
Director of Bakery: Herb Fingerhut
Director of Bakery Operations and 7th Generation Master Baker:
Herb Fingerhut: "What a baker does in his late 40's when the family bakery closes: experiences that have brought him to the best time in his life!"
Herb Fingerhut is a 7th generation Master Baker (3 in Czech Republic, 4 in Chicago). Herb was practically born into a large multi-location retail baking family whose operations began at 18th & May in Chicago. Working for his family's business most of his life, Herb decided in his 30's to take a job as Director of Bakery Operations for Pizitz Bake Shops, a division of Pizitz Department Stores, in Birmingham Alabama. Three short years later due Herb's father's ill health he came back to the family business, which had changed drastically while he was gone. In January 2000, Herb's father closed the 105 year old business. Herb's regrouped and preparing to reopen a retail Fingerhut's in 2010 at the encouragement of his son, who also has baking in his blood. Meanwhile he has launched an internet business: www.fingerhutbakery.com. Herb has lived and worked in Minneapolis while going to school at the University of Minnesota earning a degree in Business and Marketing. He graduated from Dunwoody Institute of Baking as well as the American Institute of Baking (AIB). Herb was class president at both Dunwoody and AIB. Herb has worked at Charles Fingerhut Bakeries in Cicero Illinois and Fingerhut's Oven Fresh Bakery in Brookfield Illinois. While in school Herb worked for Lund's and Byerly's Food chains in Minneapolis. He was Director of Bakery Operations for Pizitz Department Stores in Birmingham Alabama, Director of Bakery Operations for Red Hen Bread in Chicago and Plant Manager for Imperial Bakery in Niles, Illinois. He currently works for Kaufman's Deli and Bakery in Skokie Illinois. Herb has been an independent bakery consultant for many retail and wholesale bakers throughout United States.
Thank You, Herb Fingerhut Jr.