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MHALA’s Village Cookie Shoppe Named LA Business Journal 2023 Social Enterprise of the Year
The Village Cookie Shoppe in Long Beach was named Social Enterprise of the Year by the Los Angeles Business Journal at its 2023 Nonprofit & Corporate Citizenship Awards. The bakery is one of Mental Health America of Los Angeles’ (MHALA’s) social enterprises and part of the organization’s Employment Services Program.
“Receiving this recognition means so much to us,” said Kevin Palacios, chef and manager of The Village Cookie Shoppe. “These are more than just the best cookies in America — they’re a vehicle to transforming lives.”
Employees working at the bakery are MHALA members on their journey to mental health recovery. Employees receive three to four months of on-the-job training with the goal of placing them in part- or full-time employment within the local community.
Of the members employed at The Village Cookie Shoppe last year, nearly 90% went on to get full-time work in the community. This helped provide them with the structure, security, and income they need to thrive.
Skills employees learn at The Village Cookie Shoppe include customer service, self-advocacy, baking, packaging, and marketing and product development.
“That the bakery has thrived and done so well despite the challenges of the pandemic is a testament to the dedication and outstanding work of our bakery team and to the support that MHALA has in our community,” said Christina Miller, PhD, president and CEO of MHALA. “All the revenue raised by the bakery will continue to support those we serve in their efforts to achieve their best lives.”
The Village Cookie Shoppe is based in Long Beach, but ships baked goods through the United States and provides catering services to local businesses.
Beginning later this year, MHALA will be raising money to expand The Village Cookie Shoppe into a sit-down café in the organization’s new building in Long Beach.
Learn more about The Village Cookie Shoppe and place orders at www.villagecookieshoppe.com.