INCHEON, Jan. 29 (Korea Bizwire) — Senior-friendly companies in South Korea are expanding efforts to create jobs for the aged.
Bonne Bakery, located in Incheon, is a senior-friendly company that employs 19 senior employees between the ages of 63 and 80.
The company was selected by the Korea Labor Force Institute for the Aged in 2015 to open for business in April of the following year.
While the bread at the bakery is made by professional bakers, the senior employees are responsible for packing, delivering, and selling the baked goods.
The shop first opened with 10 senior employees, before hiring nine more seniors over the next three years.
Cafe Bonne, a coffee shop run by senior employees, opened up its second shop in Incheon’s Namdong District Office in July 2017.
“We received 450 million won (US$402,144) in subsidies from the government and Namdong District to run the shop. Namdong District was kind enough to offer one of its public spaces to us, so we were able to start our bakery immediately,” said Choi Mun-kyu, Bonne Bakery’s head of marketing.
“Our annual sales in the first year stopped short of 270 million won (US$241,286), but the business grew to earn as much as 470 million won (US$420,017) last year.”
Bonne Bakery produces 2,500 baked goods each day for sale at local daycare centers, welfare facilities and job search agencies.
Orders are constantly flowing in from local daycare centers as word of mouth spread throughout local communities about Bonne Bakery’s “tasty and healthy products”.
The secret of its popularity lies in the company’s recipes and the devotion of its employees. Bonne Bakery uses quality recipes that are more expensive than the ones used in other bakeries.
Its products can’t be stored for long since preservatives are not used, but they taste better and contain ingredients that are healthier.
The bakery has received HACCP certification which ensures product quality throughout the entire production and distribution process.
The bakery released a new kind of bread made from naturally fermented ingredients last year for better taste and quality.
Swift and experienced packaging, delivery, and sales processes managed by senior employees have ensured that customers receive the baked goods in the best condition.
Despite their great quality, Bonne Bakery products are roughly 20 percent cheaper than other bakeries, since the objective of the company goes beyond generating profit.
“Profit is important, but what’s more important is creating jobs for seniors. We sell quality bread at a cheaper price to attract customers, whose purchases provide stable jobs for seniors,” said Lee Jin-ok, head of Bonne Bakery.
“We aim to have as many as 30 senior employees.”
“Bonne Bakery is where every senior wants to work,” said an individual referred to only as Kim who is responsible for Bonne Bakery’s deliveries.
“I’ve been working here for three years now, and I love my job. I wish we would have more job opportunities like this.”
There are a total of 11 senior-friendly companies, including coffee shops, bakeries, automobile parts manufacturers, in the Incheon area.
Lina Jang (email@example.com)