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Photo by Paul Miller

How the Women’s Bean Project Is Empowering Local Ladies

The Denver-based nonprofit's goodies are more than just delicious.

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Chile-spiced dried mango. Yogurt-covered blueberries. Crispy plantain chips. These are not items you’d expect from a company called the Women’s Bean Project (WBP), but the Denver-based nonprofit has had 30 years to expand its horizons. In 1989, founder Jossy Eyre used $500 of her own money to launch a soup-mix business that would also train and empower chronically unemployed women. Since then, the WBP has graduated over 1,000 students—many experiencing homelessness, transitioning out of incarceration, or recovering from substance abuse—from its social enterprise program. Participants gain job and life skills, mentorship, and paid work experience assembling soup and chili mixes, baked-good kits, and snacks (available online, at local Safeways, and regional Whole Foods Markets). We’re filling our packs with the WBP’s latest creations, which not only include those blueberries, mangoes, and plantains, but also Thai curry cashews and organic gummy fish—which taste as good as the mission behind them makes you feel.

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