Seven Stars Bakery Donates Day’s Earnings to RI Food Bank
Friday, January 07, 2011
When Jim and Lynn Williams opened the doors of Seven Stars Bakery
in January 2001, the couple embarked on journey that would lead them to eventually expand their Hope Street experiment into a thriving business. A marriage, two daughters and two more locations later, the Jim and Lynn decided to give back to the community that they feel so grateful to call home.
How It Started
“On our 5th anniversary, we decided it was time to really give back,” said Lynn. She and Jim reached out to the Rhode Island Community Food Bank, a “natural partner” describes Lynn, toured the facility and were both impressed. “At the time, we had only our Hope Street store and donated 100% of the sales from the store that day. It felt so good to see both our customers' and staff's generosity that we decided we would make it an annual event.” This past Tuesday, the couple continued their tradition of marking the Hope
Street store’s anniversary by donating 100% of the sales from all three locations to the food bank, $12,000 in total. The couple and staff promoted the fundraiser in the days and weeks leading up to Jan. 2 in the store, on their Facebook fan page
and other methods. The event has had a pay-it-forward affect, and in addition to their customers’ generosity, the staff at all three Seven Stars donates their day’s tips. “[They] agreed years ago that the whole tip jar would be donated,” explained Lynn. “We put a little sign to that effect in the jars and the customers are known to put $5 and $10 bills in the jar....it's wonderful to see.”
'Buy Local' Benefits
The response has been tremendous, and Lynn said she even receives a few cards and emails thanking the couple. “I think people feel good about supporting a store that supports the community,” she said. “The ‘buy local’ trend has so many wonderful effects on the community—the more successful we are, the more we can afford to support our own community's efforts." Michael Cerio, Communications Manager at the Rhode Island of Community Food Bank, calls the $12,000 donation extraordinary. “A financial contribution of that magnitude to the food bank can be leveraged into 1000s of pounds of nutrition to our neighbors in need,” he said, adding that over the past five years, the Seven Stars donations total $47,000.
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