The Altamont is a commercial bakery, but it's not really about the cookies. It's about building relationships between Synagogue volunteers and our partner bakers from the Altamont Apartments and other mental health facilities in the city. Most live together with other formerly homeless Tulsans under the auspices of the Mental Health Association of Oklahoma. Bakers and volunteers work side by side, weighing, measuring, mixing, shaping, and baking. Our approach to work and productivity makes it possible for people to talk, for relationships to form, and for all of us to acquire the communications skills that go with any communal endeavor. The incidental result is the best group of artisanal cookies, ever.
It is also an opportunity for Altamonters to earn a paycheck. We're still at the beginning of this project, so the proceeds from our sales are modest. But the hourly pay for residents ($10 - $12) is way above minimum wage, and for many of our workers the bakery check is a first step toward productive, useful, paying work in the larger world.
We hope you'll keep this in mind when you agree to stock our cookies or take one in hand to eat it yourself. For the community of the Synagogue, the Altamont Bakery is a signature mitzvah, a transformative act requiring that we treat our fellow human beings with tenderness, generosity, fairness, and honor.
How can you be part of this? You can start by falling in love with our cookies.