This just might be Meghan Markle’s favorite bakery!
In a new post on the official SussexRoyal Instagram page, which she shares with Prince Harry, Meghan wrote in her own words why she is choosing to shine a spotlight on Luminary Bakery, a small independent London bakery making a difference.
“What they’ve created at Luminary Bakery is exceptional – it’s a space for baking, healing and rebuilding,” she posted on Thursday alongside a picture of cupcakes with bright blue icing, each one featuring a different inspirational message.
The social enterprise bakery, which was founded in 2014 by Alice Williams, Sarah Harrison and Abigail Mifsud, has transformed the lives of over 50 women in the U.K. so far. Their aim is to empower women who have been the victims of violence, sex trafficking, been in the prison system or homeless, by teaching them how to bake. In addition to learning baking skills, they also offer education on food hygiene, money management and computer literacy, with many of the women getting jobs at the bakery or at other food establishments after they graduate.
The bakery also made Meghan’s cake for her 38th birthday earlier this month, according to Good Morning America. The creative bakers crafted a beautifully-decorated carrot cake with orange peels and pumpkin seeds placed on top alongside the message, “Happy Birthday Meghan,” written in chocolate icing.
Thanks so much to Alice Williams and the awesome team at @LuminaryBakery in London for letting us join them last weekend as they created Duchess Meghan’s beautiful carrot birthday cake🎂 @GMA story on the bakery and their incredible work here: https://t.co/1l9Uhww1rr pic.twitter.com/TVvtZhybEx— Omid Scobie (@scobie) August 9, 2019
“When I visited the women earlier this year I was struck by how the baking, itself, is a means of therapy for these women – which in many ways makes complete sense – feeling they had no control over their lives based on their previous (and often harrowing) circumstances, they found comfort in the measured nature of baking,” Meghan writes in the post, adding: “Mixing equal parts of one ingredient and another could yield the perfect dessert, but the act of doing so provided personal balance. So while the baked goods are absolutely delicious, it’s the story of how the program at Luminary reshapes lives through baking that is the actual icing on the cake.”
Co-founder Williams says everyone at the bakery has been overwhelmed by Meghan’s continued support.
”It’s been amazing!” she tells PEOPLE from the bakery shop floor, adding: “We are extremely grateful to the Duchess for all she is doing to champion Luminary. For many women here, traumatic life experiences have caused them to lose sight of their value. So for her to take the time to get to know us and use her platform to shine a light on our work has meant so much to our community.”
And that community is about to expand as Williams prepares to open a second bakery in London’s Camden in October and launch a cookbook next year. The bakery was first thrust into the spotlight when it was featured in the September issue of British Vogue, which Meghan guest-edited. “The Duchess’ choice to highlight what we do is opening doors and creating more opportunities for women to thrive,” says Williams.
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On Wednesday, Meghan shared another charity close to her heart on Instagram. Surprising the participants of a photo shoot for Smart Works, an organization of which she is patron, they also help to empower disadvantaged women by getting them back into the workplace. The shoot was for Meghan’s capsule collection of workwear, which she is collaborating on with several designers, including her friend Misha Nonoo. Meghan shared the first glimpse of the project in an Instagram Story, showing her meeting and styling the models.