Dave Dahl is the brainchild behind the booming Dave's Killer Bread business, headquartered in Portland, Ore. Dave has gone from ex-con to Citizen of the Year — a redemption story inspiring for all.
Dave is the son of a baker. He says baking was in the family business and his father ran the show. During that time, however, he says he was more of a loner who took part in recreational drugs and drinking.
“I was depressed,” he said.
In his late teens, Dave says he discovered methamphetamine. Before long, he was robbing people and getting busted to support his drug habit. He says he started seeing himself as a criminal. He was charged multiple times for things including dealing drugs, and assaulting an officer. Finally, he went in for a seven-year sentence and something happened.
“In between my thoughts of suicide and sweating, from anxiety and just feeling like my life is over, I would have these little moments of hope,” he said.
He began receiving treatment for his depression, and eventually went back to school. When he was released, his family let him return to the bakery and he began experimenting with recipes. From the first day at a farmers market, his bread was a hit. Soon, the Dave’s Killer Bread line was born.
Now, he’s managed to turn bread into a booming business. The company is churning out 400,000 loaves of bread each week.
Dave goes back to the prison to talk to inmates about change. One-third of his employees are ex-felons.
“It was just a fantasy, but now it’s a dream that came true,” he said. “And it’s pretty amazing.”
For more information, vist the Dave's Killer Bread website.