Nonprofit pie shop offers business skills for girls

Two workers at Try Pie prepare pies to be sold at Hansen’s Dairy in Waterloo and Cedar Falls.

Try Pie is a company that offers employment opportunities for 15- to 18-year-old girls in the Cedar Valley. They gather Monday-Saturday, but are closed Thursday and Sunday. The girls learn job skills for after high school, and also receive training in how to be financially responsible. Several other small business owners come and teach us about running a successful, locally-owned business.

Speaking directly to how she explains the benefits of the partnership to the teens involved, Try Pie co-owner Sarah Helleso said, “I think that because financial literacy is a big part of what we focus on at Try Pie, giving and financial stewardship is a big part of that piece. So, we wanted to find a way to practice that not only as a team but give you guys a chance to give back individually and also remind you that you are leaders for the community.  Through all those things we wanted to try this, so you could donate along with the customers and they could feel like they’re participating too.”

November 2019 was the first time Try Pie implemented “Give Back November” as a way to give back to the Cedar Valley community.  There were three non-profit organizations that customers could choose to donate part of the profits made from the mini pies they buy. The three non-profits were Habitat For Humanity, Embark and Days for Girls.  Employees could donate a portion of their tips as well.  

“We asked you guys what you were excited about and what causes you cared about. Someone from ‘Days for Girls’ mentioned something similar that didn’t have a local presence, but ‘Days for Girls’ has something local. They are a group of women that care about human trafficking and women’s rights, so we picked them because they have a local presence.”

A non-profit has a different purpose than a typical business. They are not in it for the  money. Any profits made go right back into helping the cause they are supporting and  a dedication to want to better a particular social cause and be able to advocate from a shared point of view.

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