Happy International Women's Day! Today is a global day to celebrate the achievements of women and draw attention to issues that women face today.
We wanted to take the opportunity to shine the spotlight on one of our long-time partners, Three Babes Bakeshop. Three Babes is known for their pies filled with organic, seasonal ingredients and their commitment to creating positive change in the community through food.
We recently spent some time with the founders, Anna and Lenore to learn about their journey as women entrepreneurs (and to make pies, of course.)
Friends since they were nine years old, Anna and Lenore were raised in a farming community in the Central Valley. They grew up with strong female role models—their moms. Moms who were on the front lines of the feminist movement in the 70’s. Moms who kept their own last names and were equals with their spouses. Moms who ran their own companies. Moms who spearheaded social justice ventures in the community. Moms (and dads) who taught them how to make pies.
Years later, The Babes went their separate ways to college, and eventual careers on opposite coasts. While Anna worked as a buyer for a natural grocery store, Lenore tried jobs in a number of industries, but struggled to find a career that gave her a sense of purpose. Eventually, she found herself at an impasse: If she didn’t make a change, she would never have the career she truly wanted. With a little encouragement from her friend Anna, they decided to start their own business...
What was that turning point like for you? How did you decide on pies?
We used to bake together for fun when we were growing up, so a food business was a natural choice. But there were lots of things we enjoyed making—we had to narrow down the list. So we asked ourselves “What special experience or expertise do we have?”
You went back to your roots!
Yeah! We are both proud daughters of the Central Valley, and we grew up eating and cooking with amazing produce. Pies allowed us to master one product, but the filling is always changing, so we get to speak to all kinds of interesting issues and work directly with farmers from the community we grew up in. We had no money and had no idea if we would like having a business or whether people would even like our pies, so we ended up raising $10k on Kickstarter to have a pie popup for the summer. We had a great response from the community and the business just grew from there..
How do you see your role in influencing the food industry?
As a business, every time you spend money, you are voting with your dollars. Three Babes is committed to supporting local jobs, and responsible environmental practices. We are voting for the system we want. We are also lucky to have built an amazing team. We couldn’t do this without our employees, who share our values and our commitment to quality.
What #BeBoldForChange issue would you like to highlight?
Women face all the same career struggles men do, with the added difficulty of having to think about a timeline for kids. Many people (women and men) invest a lot of time and/or money in their careers before truly understanding what it is they want to do, but for women, by the time they figure out that they’d like to make a change it’s too late to switch before having kids. On top of that, the expense of childcare means that it often doesn’t make sense financially for women with more than one child—even those who love their jobs—to continue working. If we want gender equality in the workplace, and more women to rise to leadership positions—whatever their field of work—our society needs to come together to create more affordable and reliable solutions for childcare.
Celebrate with pie!
We’re featuring Three Babes Blueberry Crumble because it’s delicious and it just so happens to be the official color of International Women’s day. PURPLE, symbolizing dignity and justice.