There's a new, swanky bakery in Georgetown that's serving up premium coffee, teas, and pastries like a crÃ¨me caramel rooibos teaclair, mini banana bread loaf, and lemon financier, all baked from scratch in an historic building on a quiet side street a few blocks from the waterfront. Exposed brick and light-stained hardwood floors complement red leather seats and blue and white booths with matching red pillows—appropriately patriotic décor for this nontraditional eatery.
Dog Tag Bakery, which celebrated its grand opening this month, is not like other bakeries in the upscale D.C. neighborhood. The staff may be just as talented and pleasant as in other coffee houses in area, and the digs just as nice. But for eight people on staff, baking and brewing is just one element of their jobs. Those eight are injured veterans and their spouses, participating in a work-study program through Georgetown University.
By day, they help run the bakery—from ringing up customers, to marketing, to actually baking the pastries. They learn the ins and outs of running a business and the art of baking. On the side, they take business courses on the second floor of the 150-year-old building. Georgetown professors, through the School of Continuing Studies, come in to teach courses on accounting, business management, finance, and communications. Rick Curry, a priest and adjunct Georgetown professor, and Connie Milstein, a philanthropist and entrepreneur, cofounded the program. It's the only business certificate program of its kind in the country, helping transition injured veterans into the private sector.