De Koekfabriek

Baking cakes for affordable care

Everyone likes to belong. To be part of something bigger. To be seen. But this doesn’t come naturally to people with an intellectual disability. De Koekfabriek (The Cake Factory) was set up specially to give them a place in society. Where they can do meaningful and challenging work.

The assistants with an intellectual disability help the bakers at De Koekfabriek to make delicious cakes and biscuits. These are sold in small bags and in 1-kilogram jars. The small bags are for individual consumers and the bigger jars are for local cafes and businesses like Douwe Egberts, ProRail and the Utrecht exhibition centre, Jaarbeurs. Up to now, the De Koekfabriek has only operated in Utrecht but has ambitious plans to expand to other cities including Breda, Arnhem and Leiden.

Social bakery

One branch of De Koekfabriek provides work for 18 people with an intellectual disability. These employees and their care supervisor come to De Koekfabriek through local care institutions. Each branch also employs four other staff proposed by the agency responsible for unemployment benefit. These include a bookkeeper, delivery person and two bakers put forward from a pool of people who have difficulty finding a job.

Paid work

De Koekfabriek aims to use its profits to make care more affordable. The company pays care supervisors for the time they invest in helping their clients bake cakes. The employees with an intellectual disability also receive compensation each day. Not wages as such, but a contribution to travel expenses or money to buy extra care. This daily compensation makes it feel more like a real job.

How Rabobank Foundation helps

Rabobank Foundation provides De Koefabriek with a loan to set up two new branches: one in Breda, the other in Arnhem. Other parties – such as the Stichting DOEN – are also funding the expansion plans.