Lacombe’s Broom Tree Foundation is offering a new ‘sweet’ way to fundraise and have an even bigger impact on the community.
“We just launched Broom Tree Sweets — it’s awesome because it’s another component of our social enterprise cafe,” explained Tamara Noordhof, program director.
“We have Shelley Meldrum, our Broom Tree Sweets coordinator, who is a very talented baker, and we are utilizing her skills to sell custom birthday cakes and wedding cakes.
“The prices are awesome because our goal is to sell 10 a day – with some, you can do custom orders. With others, you can do pre-orders and with some, you can just come into the cafe and see the cakes in our cooler that are ready to pick up and buy,” she said.
Dedicated to helping women and their families build better, safer, and stronger lives, the Foundation was launched in early 2020 to support women and their families within the community.
“All of the money goes back into our foundation, and you get these absolutely amazing, stunning cakes,” she said.
“When we launched it, we called it a ‘Cake Walk’ as a fundraiser. Shelley, who also helps manage our cafe, had made a bunch of cakes ahead of time and they were put on social media. We did it as an auction and ended up selling 16 cakes. We made just under $4,000.”
That kind of success pointed to creating an ongoing means of garnering support.
“It was fun for the community, and what a great way for us to showcase our cakes and build momentum for Broom Tree Sweets,” said Noordhof.
As mentioned, it’s a key part of the social enterprise cafe as well.
“The whole purpose of the social enterprise cafe is to be able to give women employability skills. Also, out of COVID, we really came to see this whole food security piece which is so huge and important.
“So one thing that we also need the community to know more about is our Broom Tree Table initiative. Every week, we give away 10 Broom Tree Table meals.”
Several local companies donate to this program, from which these meals are prepared and sold.
“These include a big casserole with hearty, good, and healthy ingredients. And then it comes with six buns, dessert, and a carton of juice,” she said, adding that these meals cost $65 each.
“They easily feed a family of six, and there are usually leftovers. They are massive.”
As soon as a customer orders one of those 10 meals, the staff promptly prepares the equivalent that will be donated to a family in need.
“So basically, for $65, you are feeding your own family plus you are also being generous by turning around and donating that same meal you just purchased to a local family in need.
“It’s such a good program,” she said. “So if you want to help contribute to food security in your city, and also get a delicious home-cooked meal for your own family, you are actually blessing another family in need.”
Besides offering employment through the cafe, the Foundation also provides support through the Bridges Program and thirdly by providing help with the search for temporary or transitional housing.
“We want you to be warm, and to have shelter. And we want you to rest. From there, let’s assess what you need and continue your journey.”