Skip to main content
Nonprofit bakery provides employment, housing, and support to women in need
Email share

DOLORES, Colo. The town of Dolores, CO, is less than one square mile and home to just about 1,000 people. Alana Connelly is one of them. She is the director of Cultivating Sacred, a nonprofit that helps women who are victims of abuse or other trauma get back on their feet.

“In the state of Colorado, we’re one of the most poverty-stricken communities,” Connelly said of Montezuma County, where Dolores is located. “We have a very high incidence of sexual assault, STDs, crime, drugs. It’s kind of insane.”

Colorado Voices

Cultivating Sacred

5:21
Published:

Cultivating Sacred: nonprofits formed to provide jobs, support and safe housing for women in need.

Cultivating Sacred operates a gallery and storefront that sells artwork and artisanal goods made by local women.

“What we were seeing was a lot of women trying to support their family through some extra money and they were taking their goods and their crafts to farmers’ markets and hauling their children around for an extra buck, and [we] thought, ‘Well, why don’t we just put everybody in once space?’” Connelly explained.

Earlier this year, Connelly helped launch a new nonprofit bakery called Three Chicks Bakery and Deli that provides employment, housing, and support to women in need.

“We’ve only been open nine weeks and we’ve helped, now, probably six women,” Connelly said. “As soon as people knew that we weren’t just a safe house for women from domestic violence or sexual assault--that we were helping homeless women, [women with] PTSD, women recovering from drug addictions--we’ve had several people reach out to us because it’s a different avenue to get help.”

Connelly wanted to open the bakery in March, but that was right when COVID-19 arrived in Colorado. She opened it as soon as restrictions lifted.

Connelly knows Dolores is a small town, but she wants women across the country to know they can come to Three Chicks Bakery for help. She says finding different avenues for help is her “soul’s work.”

“It is extremely important to help a lot of the women not only in our community,” Connelly said, “but the goal would be to reach out to women anywhere, that they could come here and they could stay.”

Working with Cultivating Sacred and Three Chicks Bakery has opened Connelly’s eyes to the number of women in her community recovering from some sort of trauma.

“It could be your neighbor. I could be your sister. It could be your mother,” she said. “People don’t talk about it, so what we’re trying to do is start small and grow bigger so that people will start talking about it and reaching out and helping each other, not just in our community but other communities like the reservations, or places that go unheard.”

For more information on Three Chicks Bakery and Cultivating Sacred, click here.


Resources

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE

National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE

Donations to Three Chicks Bakery and Deli can be made at onwardfoundation.org.

Rocky Mountain PBS Spotlight

Community stories from across Colorado and updates on your favorite PBS programs, every Tuesday morning.