Sunflower Bakery prepares young adults with learning differences for successful employment in bakeries, supermarkets, restaurants, and other food-related businesses. Students spend six months on professional pastry instruction, food safety education, on-the-job training, and paid internships. Meanwhile, comprehensive employee development classes build skills and confidence in areas like workplace communication, problem solving, time management, resume writing, and more. Thanks to career guidance and an extensive network of employer partners in the area, more than 80% of graduates land a job within six months. The Sunflower Café focuses on front-of-house customer service and barista skills, offering three months of instruction followed by six months of paid Café employment for successful trainees. Week-long summer baking sessions are available for teens with learning differences, including ADHD and autism. Next on the menu? Bread baking and shipping/packaging training programs. Let’s get cooking.

COVID-19 Update: From March-May employment training programs moved to Zoom. Since then, they have continued in person (socially distanced) and the Bakery has seen a 35% increase in applications. It offers socially distanced Teen Baking Classes instead of its usual Teen Exposure Program and an At-home Kitchen Lab option for teens who prefer not to meet in person. The Café is open and bakery products can also be ordered online and picked up at certain locations or, depending on the order, delivered.

Headquarters: MD-Montgomery County

Where They Operate: MD-Montgomery County

Age Groups Served: Pre-teen/teen (12-17); Young adult (18-24); Adult (25-49)

Population(s) Served: Individuals with Disabilities; Low- to Moderate-Income Community Members; Men/Boys; Women/Girls; Students

Schools They Work In: Montgomery County Public Schools; Private schools in the MetroDC area

  • % of Pastry Arts graduates securing a job within 6 months of program completion:   80%

Awards & Recognition

Ruderman $50,000 Prize in Inclusion (2013)


  • No stories found

Budget (FY0)

  • $3 million or higher
  • $1 million to $3 million
  • $500k to $1 million
  • Less than $500k

Catalogue charities range in size from $100,000 to $3 million. This graphic indicates the budget range of the organization featured here. If you see an organizational budget above the $3 million mark, that is because the featured charity has grown in size since it first appeared in the Catalogue. We proudly present on our website the work of these "growth" charities.

About the Catalogue for Philanthropy

Each year 120 expert reviewers evaluate applicants for distinction, merit, and impact. Each featured charity has been successfully site visited and its financials given the thumbs up. The Catalogue for Philanthropy charges no fees and raises funds separately to support its work. Since 2003, it has raised over $40 million for charities across the Greater Washington region.

The Catalogue for Philanthropy looks to friends like you to keep our services independent and entirely free of charge. Consider a small contribution to the Catalogue to cap off your gift and help the causes you care about get the full support they deserve!

If you like Sunflower Bakery you might also like