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Local media talks about Friendship Bakery


Friendship Circle finds a new home

by Salam Fatayer | Sep 13th | 889 Milwaukee Radio

Picture this, you walk into the front doors and immediately you’re greeted with the caramelized smell of coffee. The inside space is massive yet comfortable enough to entice you to spend time there. In the back, there’s an art studio for any creative and there is even a bakery that specializes in a number of desserts such as challah and crinkle cookies. 

Luckily for you, you no longer need to imagine such a place because of Friendship Circle, a local non-profit organization that works with adults and kids with special needs.

New Building.jpg

Friendship Bakery moves closer to opening
in Riverpoint Village

By Andy Tarnoff | On Milwaukee
Published Sept. 12, 2019 

The space in Riverpoint Village Shopping Center where the North Shore Bistro used to live has sat vacant for four years. Soon, though, a non-profit group called Friendship Circle, will open a bakery and cafe in the former restaurant that will employ adults with special needs.

The Friendship Bakery currently resides out of a rented kitchen in Milwaukee, says Levi Stein, executive director of Friendship Circle. Currently, 14 adults work in the kitchen, two to three times a week.

New Fox Point bakery, coffee shop and art space will give adults with special needs a 'one-of-a-kind' place to work

By Jeff Rumage, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Posted: Aug. 29, 2019

After a morning of packaging bakery goods for shipment, Shira Miller was eating a snack on her lunch break when chef Dina Menzl-Russo walked into the room and told her it was time to get back to work. Miller, 22, smiled, hugged Menzl-Russo and told her she loved her as they walked into the kitchen for their next baking project.

Friendship Circle has a new home in Fox Point


FOX POINT -- A group on a mission to help people with special needs has a new home.

The Friendship Circle group showed off its new location near Port Washington and Brown Deer Road on Wednesday, Aug. 21 It is where the North Shore Bistro used to be.

Friendship Bakery adds new location in Fox Point

By: Megan Hedstrom Wisconsin | Spectrum News
Posted: Aug. 19, 2019

FOX POINT, Wis. (SPECTRUM NEWS)-- A Wisconsin non-profit is in the process of expanding. The friendship circle helps those living with special needs gain work experience through its bakery.

With around 80 percent of adults with special needs in the Milwaukee still unemployed, friendship circle says now is the time to grow.

New bakery set to open in Fox Point looking to offer employment for those living with special needs

By: Julia Fello | Today’s TMJ4
Posted: Aug 13, 2019

FOX POINT — A new bakery set to open in Fox Point wants most of their employees to be people who are living with special needs. One of them is Arin Kornblet. We met him at the new Friendship Circle storefront, where 25 more workers with special needs will soon be hired. The eight-thousand square foot facility is about to expand into a cafe, bakery and art studio. "There may be someone with special needs who will greet you there may be someone behind the counter," said Rabbi Levi Stein, Friendship Circle director.

Friendship Circle to grow, adding a North Shore coffee shop

By: Rob Golub | Milwaukee Jewish Chronicle
Posted: August 2, 2019

FOX POINT – The Brooklyn, New York-based Friendship Circle has programs throughout North America and elsewhere, pairing volunteer teens with kids who have special needs, among other programming. Over the summer of 2017, the local Friendship Circle executive director, Rabbi Levi Stein, and his partner and wife Leah Stein, decided to take that international mission in an atypical direction.

Friendship Bakery cooks up Hanukkah treats and personal success for adults with disabilities

By: Shirley Descorbeth - CBS-58
Posted: Dec 9, 2018 8:59 AM CDT

(MILWAUKEE) - It’s tradition for Jewish families the world over to enjoy sweats and cookies during the eight days of Hanukkah. It doesn’t much matter what kind, so long as it’s kosher of course. The idea is to celebrate freedom and enjoy the sweetness of life. It’s also the aim of the Friendship Circle of Wisconsin and the Friendship Bakery.

Friendship Bakery makes special for Hanukkah

By Julia Fello - TMJ4
Posted: December 2, 2018

They have twelve bakers, we have one of them with us. His name is Mark Willets. We also have Leah Stein here from the Friendship Circle. Leah can you tell us, what is Friendship Circle?

Beyond bakery: What makes some locally-made sweet treats extra special

Posted July 19, 2018 - Fox6 News

GLENDALE --  When it comes to finding the best baked goods in town, it's often said that the proof is in the pudding. And Glendale's Friendship Bakery is delivering the goods. Brian Kramp introduces us to a local group that not only bakes amazing bread, but also creates friendships and jobs for some very special people.

There’s a new addition in the baked goods aisle at Sendik’s in Mequon

POSTED 8:57 AM, JUNE 15, 2018, BY FOX6 NEWS

MEQUON -- If you plan on doing some shopping at Sendik's in Mequon -- you'll see a new additional in the baked goods aisle. Some tasty treats all for a great cause. The grocery store will be featuring baked goods from "Friendship Bakery."

It's a program that provides employment training for individuals with disabilities. Some of the products include different loaves and rolls. Employees say having their breads on Sendik's shelves is a big deal.

Jewish bakery in Milwaukee teaches job skills to adults with special needs

By Maddie Koss and Meg Jones, Milwaukee Published 4:23 p.m. CT Dec. 17, 2017 - Journal Sentinel

The aroma was intoxicating — braids of dough formed into challah bread and shortbread cookies with cutouts in the shapes of stars and dreidels baking in several ovens.

Jonathan Frank and Mark Wilets bent over their tasks, rolling dough and threading it into the familiar rolls and bread consumed during Jewish ceremonial occasions.

Sunday Morning Spotlight: The Friendship Bakery

Posted: Dec 17, 2017 7:00 AM CDT - CBS-58

Michele McCormack visits the Friendship Bakery in Glendale, a brain child of Rabbi Levi Stein that’s become a model for teaching adults with disabilities new skills and a purpose with remarkable success.

In Milwaukee, Adults With Special Needs Train to Be Bakers

By Liza Wiemer - August 2, 2017 7:43 AM -

Innovation, education and community—combine these ingredients and something delicious can materialize. Add to the mix students with special needs, a handful of volunteers and a top pastry chef, and the end results wind up in the form of dairy-free pastries, cakes, cookies and challah.

That’s what happened with the opening of Friendship Bakery in Wisconsin.

The idea started formulating this past October, when Rabbi Levi and Leah Stein, co-directors of Friendship Circle of Wisconsin—a division of Lubavitch of Wisconsin—recognized that adults with special needs were lacking opportunities for hands-on vocational training and the need to feel productive in the working world.

Milwaukee bakery employs people with special needs

By Julia Fello 6:01 PM, Sep 13, 2017 - TMJ4

MILWAUKEE -- A Port Washington man became the inspiration for a new bakery, thanks to an organization filling a void in our community, The Friendship Circle of Wisconsin.

Sol Weingrod's mother told TODAY'S TMJ4 her son had a difficult time finding work because he has special needs.

When the director of the Friendship Circle of Wisconsin heard his story, he knew the organization had to do something.

That is how the Friendship Bakery was born. Six people with special needs have been employed in the program since it officially took off in July.

Friendship Bakery, a new idea, teaches workplace skills

By Rob Golub | October 18, 2017 | The Jewish Chronicle

MILWAUKEE – You’ve heard of the win-win situation. The non-profit Friendship Circle, which opened a bakery in July, appears to have come up with a win-win-win. Yes, that’s three wins, which is quite a bit more than a mere two.
Win #1: People with special needs are learning workplace skills at the bakery.
Win #2: The bakery items are sold to help fund the program.
Win #3: Friendship Bakery serves the kosher community, which organizers say is underserved.