Ferguson bakery helps create opportunities for area youth - KMOV.com

Ferguson bakery helps create opportunities for area youth

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Police walk through a cloud of smoke as they clash with protesters in Ferguson, Mo. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File) Police walk through a cloud of smoke as they clash with protesters in Ferguson, Mo. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)
FERGUSON, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

Natalie Dubose opened Natalie's Cakes and More in June of 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri just two months before Michael Brown's death and the unrest that followed.

It was vandalized during social unrest, but Dubose's business survived the turbulent time thanks to the generosity of strangers from near and far.

Dubose is using her success to give back to the community.

"We're not doing enough for the youth. At 18 you're not ready for real life," said Dubose.

She has partnered with Connections to Success to help create opportunities for young people.

"Kids are definitely our future. If we don't train them and sculpt them now to be whom they need to be, then we just won't have any hope as we get older," said Dubose.

That hope comes in the form of a cookie. The Sweet Success cookie line is made at Dubose's Ferguson bakery. There are six different flavors along with a holiday line that will be introduced in late 2016.

"Every time you're taking a bite out of that cookie, you take a bite out of poverty," said Jenita Hladyshewsky with Connections To Success.

Half the profits from the Sweet Success cookie line go to pay teens for on-the-job training they receive at the bakery.

The other 50 percent funds the Ava Grace Foundation which is a scholarship that helps send children with incarcerated parents to college.

"It's lonely to grow up and know that there are other children who get their parents,"  said Cari Hill, a scholarship recipient. 

"I like to say I'm fighting the odds because I refuse to be a statistic," said Hill. "You have no control over your parent's choosing to make mistakes that may lead them to this livelihood in prison, but you're suffering the consequences of their actions."

Dubose hopes others will follow her example. 

"The kids need direction and it’s gonna take businesses like this to continue to give them that direction that they need," Dubose said.

The Sweet Success cookies sell for $3. You can buy them at Natalie's Cakes and More in Ferguson or on the Washington University and St. Louis University campus.

For more information, visit nataliescakesandmore.com.

Copyright 2016 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

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