There’s a certain type of storyline that doesn’t grow old on me: the one of second chances. They just seem so credible, relatable and… real. Maybe it’s simply because I don’t always get it right the first time myself unfortunately (or fortunately).
The story of Jewel Jones, more affectionately known as Mr. Jones, validated my belief in second chances and most importantly reminded me how much you can do with them. When Jones was given the chance to be a busboy, he not only took it to empower himself, but eventually made a contagious impact on his entire community – for the good.
After selling his IHOP franchise, Jones started the soup kitchen NYC Love Kitchen about twenty five years ago in upper Manhattan’s Inwood, where over one million meals were served. His dream to give the disadvantaged a story to tell about second chances took shape in “A New Creation Bakery,” a bakery that would extend the mission of the Love Kitchen through the employment and training of those underprivileged. By perfecting his mother’s carrot cake recipe, his signature Carrot Cake with cream cheese frosting was turned into a profitable product, and played a key role in arousing enthusiasm among a group of youngsters who would become indispensable characters in realizing Mr. Jones’ vision.
“The bakery is formed with a business model that comes right from the heart. A New Creation Bakery is founded upon the notion of rebirth, where old things have passed away and the new is present. It was a rebirth in Jones’ life and for what he hopes is an awakening in the hearts of those he feeds too. But the business is an accumulation of many passions of Jones.” Melissa, K. (2011, 12 08). [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://www.nycreligion.info/?p=3723
One specific community that has always plucked at Jones’s heartstrings is Inwood. “According to City Data, 26% of residents in Inwood had income below the poverty level in 2009. The poverty figure is about 12% higher than that for the rest of New York State. Jones aims for the bakery to contribute to the Inwood community by funding the soup kitchen and food pantry.” Melissa, K. (2011, 12 08). [Web log message]. Retrieved from http://www.nycreligion.info/?p=3723
In 2012, an ideal storefront location for the bakery was found on Washington Heights and Inwood that would enable operational expansions as well as learning and training opportunities for members of the community. Until today, Mr. Jones and his team are making tireless efforts to have a full-fledged bakery up and running by spring of this year.
NYU Stern School of Business graduates & New Creation Bakery team members Derrick See and Colin Quek share the story:
Dear Mr. Jones & team, what beautiful stories you’re giving to so many!2