Dudley Dough Manifesto

Dudley Dough celebrates the labor of exceptional workers who nourish our community with healthful food – empowering them with just pay, dignity, and a voice in their workplace.

We pursue social wealth, not greed, as the driving force of commerce.

We believe that individual and societal well-being are bound together.

Building a Better Restaurant

Dudley Dough – a new model of economic inclusion from Haley House.

Haley House’s 48-year history is marked by creative solutions to societal injustice. In 1966, when homelessness reached critical proportions, Haley House was the only soup kitchen in Boston. We soon realized that food was not enough, leading us to acquire permanent housing.

Food and housing are essential, but by the 1990s Haley House witnessed the drastic cycle that drove individuals from disenfranchisement-to-addiction-to-prison-and-back. We responded with supportive training and employment programs for ex-offenders. The lack of healthful food and its impact on nutrition-based disease motivated us to open our social enterprise Bakery Café in Dudley Square. 

Neighborhood partners joined us to build community-based programming that sparked pride and gave voice to the frustrations of an ignored neighborhood. Our rural, biodynamic farm provided only limited access to city dwellers eager to learn about seed-to-table nutrition, compelling us to transfer our resources to urban farming.

Issues of low income, poor health, and high rates of violence and resulting incarceration disproportionately affect the residents of inner city neighborhoods of color. Minimal formal education and inadequate job opportunities lead many residents to seek work in the food industry.

According to the National Restaurant Association, in 2015 Massachusetts restaurants are expected to register $13.8 billion in sales. By 2024, they project a job growth rate of 15.7%. Sadly, however, neither of these patterns of growth have translated into increased worker pay. Federal labor statistics indicate that the “13 million-plus restaurant workers in the U.S. face a poverty rate nearly three times that of the rest of the country’s workforce, and the industry hosts seven of the ten worst paying jobs.”

Haley House intends to defy this unfortunate standard by employing a business model that will remunerate employees with a living wage and an opportunity for sharing the profits they produce.

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Dudley Dough

Directed by Lev Omelchenko and produced by SynonShop