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94-year-old bakes weekly treats for fellow seniors: 'Everything she makes is great'

At 94, it can be hard to do even the simplest of things, but Winnifred Bowden has been relentlessly baking without breaking a sweat.

94-year-old bakes weekly treats for fellow seniors: 'Everything she makes is great'
Cover Image Source: Facebook / Jessica Bowden

A bakery in Halifax has some of the best freshly baked homemade goodies, from lemon loaves to peanut butter cookies and blueberry muffins. Winnifred Bowden's kitchen, made with love by a 94-year-old, had produced a plethora of treats over the years, reports CTV News. " I really love baking, but it's tiresome," said Bowden with a laugh. "I have to take a break sometimes, and then I get right back to it." At 94, it can be hard to do even the simplest things, but Bowden has been relentlessly baking without breaking a sweat. "When I get down, I will get my cookbook out and say, "What should I make today?"

Bowden has learned how to bake from her father and her uncle, and she always bakes with someone dear in mind. For the last 30 years, he has been baking treats for fellow seniors at her residence, something she still does now. "To me, they are my second family," said Bowden. Her neighbor, Ann Duffy, says Bowden uplifts the people in the entire residence. "I was very sick for a while, and she’d bring me breakfast and everything," said Duffy. "She does that and shares her cooking three to four times a week." "Her banana muffins are my favorites," said neighbor Ronald Ranson. "Everything she makes is great." Her recipes have been featured in a cookbook, and she also holds bake sales. Bowden says that 94 is yet another measurement, but she takes nothing for granted. “I’m really blessed,” said Bowden. “I thank God every day that he gives me the strength to do this.”



However, this is not the only bakery in Halifax that has been inspiring residents. The North End Baking Co. and Café employ people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and offer opportunities to those who are having difficulty finding work, per CTV News. "We're a social enterprise café staffed by adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities who are staffing our kitchen and our café as well," said Adrienne McCormick, the bakery's supervisor. "So, we're an entirely gluten and nut-free facility to encompass that allergy that tends to be more prominent in the community to kind of create more inclusivity in our employment, in our café, and in the food that we offer."

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The cafe only serves gluten-and nut-free products, which are both healthy and delicious. According to the cafe's website, "Recent studies have shown that people with Down syndrome may develop celiac disease or gluten sensitivity at higher rates than the general population—as high as 16 in every 100." I mean, how thoughtful is that? Not many cafeterias do that. Baking Co. is a collaboration with Prescott Group participants who are trained in food preparation, baking, cashiering, and other kitchen responsibilities. Since 1962, Prescott Group has helped and inspired people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to find a loving community and success in Halifax.



"It offers such a unique experience for our participants where they're able to gain those employment skills in an environment where they're comfortable and with people that they're comfortable, and it gives them that encouragement that they can do it out within the community," said Charlene Kuhn, the supervisor of community engagement and employment at North End Baking Co. "So that's firsthand experience and bringing that out into the workplace is reaching all our goals." She also adds that gluten-free products are what mainly attract customers. "And then it just kind of doubles as an extra great treat to know what backs us and what our goal is here." 

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