Vegan Bakery Run by Visually Impaired Workers Debuts

Scandinavian-style vegan shop Carina’s Bakery in Beaverton, OR gives visually impaired workers a chance to make an impact.

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New vegan shop Carina’s Bakery will host its grand opening in Beaverton, OR next month. At the business, owner Carina Comer serves baked goods inspired by her Swedish heritage infused with flavors of the Pacific Northwest. The shops menu features brioche-like Scandinavian breakfast buns, miniature rye rolls spiced with cardamom, fruity scones, Swiss rolls, coffee drinks made with vegan milk, and a selection of savory goods—including the smørrebröds, or open-faced sandwiches popular in Scandinavian countries. “I’m legally blind and because of my love for baking and my struggle to find a place in the workplace,” Comer told local media outlet KATU News, “I wanted to open a bakery that employed people with disabilities.” Everyone at Carina’s Bakery is visually impaired, and two service dogs (Ribbon and Sutter) accompany Comer—who partially lost her vision due to several brain tumors—at the shop. “Eating vegan is a step towards a compassionate, connective, and innovative life,” Comer said, “and removing dairy, eggs and, additionally, soy from our shelves makes our treats more accessible to everyone.” New Jersey-based vegan bakery Papa Ganache—founded by psychotherapist Lisa Siroti—takes a similar approach through its Strengths Development Program, which provides skill-training at the compassionate bakery for youth with behavioral, emotional, developmental, and substance abuse challenges.