"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
One particular employee, Marcos, changed the Chicago baker's perspective on his
After giving Marcos some criticism on a carrot cake, Marcos tried to punch Fingerhut
"I grabbed his
hand and said 'never again,'" Fingerhut
The two sat down to talk after the incident.
told me the story of his
life and it brought me to tears.
hugged me so hard, he
cracked my front tooth.
You really get out of this place what you put into it," Fingerhut
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