Featured Vendor: Shanghai Young Bakers

students at the bund - small

If you haven’t heard about Shanghai Young Bakers yet, you have been missing out!  Today we have an interview with Emilie from SYB. Check out their video filmed at the Jiashan market and come try their freshly baked creations soon!

How did Shanghai Young Bakers get started? Shanghai Young Bakers started in 2008 as a social innovation project of the French Junior Economic Chamber of Shanghai thanks to 12 French volunteers who wanted to give back to the community. Inspired by a social bakery in Vietnam, they realized that as the bakery market was booming in China there was an increasing demand in qualified bakers and decided to give the underprivileged youth a skill that would enable them to live independent lives after graduation.

What are some of the students’ favorite goodies to bake? Country bread as it is replicable in many different flavors, baguette because the process seems so simple but it takes a real expertise to get a perfect result!

What has been the best thing about running this charity?  Besides the feeling of giving back to the community, you get the chance to meet social-minded individuals who really care about the people in need and are willing to make a change.

Have there been any challenges? If so, how did you overcome them? The major challenge, which all charities are facing, has been to find sponsors to help us sustain and develop the program. As most of the foundations and partners are willing to sponsor projects for one year, we are constantly looking for new supporters! Meanwhile, in order to not rely only on our partners, we have developed our social enterprise that helps us fundraise for our charity program. This is why you can find us at weekend markets, selling the products baked by the students during class!

What is your favorite thing about the Saturday markets? The people!! The great thing about the Saturday markets is that it brings people from different countries and backgrounds together to enjoy a simple moment. The atmosphere is always great at Jiashan market, rain or shine, especially with live music! And it is a great occasion to taste all kinds of home-made foods and get some beautiful handicrafts! You can really feel the passion the vendors have put into making each one of them.

Do you have any special events you would like people to know about? For pastry and bakery lovers, each month we organize public baking and pastry classes which are fun and meaningful since all the benefits go to our charity program! During that day, you can learn two different traditional French recipes, enjoy a French-style home-made lunch, meet people who share the same passion and also contribute to the community! Find out more here: http://www.shanghaiyoungbakers.com/classes/public-baking-classes

What is your favorite place or thing to do in Shanghai? We love riding our bicycle around town, enjoying the delicious pastries by SYB and meet social-minded people!