Upgrades to Stone Hearth Bakery help nourish community

News release

New equipment improves product quality, increases production, and creates inclusive employment opportunities

January 18, 2023 · Halifax, Nova Scotia · Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)

Building a strong and inclusive economy means ensuring underrepresented groups have equitable job and skills development opportunities. When people work together to break down barriers to employment, the entire community benefits.

Serving up fresh goods and inclusive employment

Today, the Honourable Lena Metlege Diab, Member of Parliament for Halifax West, announced a non-repayable investment of $172,000 to MetroWorks Employment Association (MetroWorks) for its social enterprise, Stone Hearth Bakery. The announcement was made on behalf of the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA.

With this funding, Stone Hearth Bakery purchased and installed new commercial ovens, a proofer and a range hood to replace aging equipment in its main kitchen. The bakery also improved its fire suppression system and installed a higher capacity gas line. These upgrades allow the community bakery to operate at increased capacity, providing more opportunities to train and employ people from underrepresented groups.

With improvements to the facility, Stone Hearth Bakery has significantly increased business with existing clients and gained several new clients. It has also improved the quality of products, and created more opportunities for those facing employment barriers.

Today’s announcement further demonstrates the Government of Canada’s commitment to help communities use their local strengths to create a stronger and more inclusive Atlantic Canadian economy.


“An inclusive economy is a resilient economy. Helping to establish independence for people with various abilities allows them to engage more fully in their communities and ensure that all Canadians have an opportunity to participate in the workforce. ACOA is pleased to support this meaningful and important work.”

The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA

"MetroWorks and the Stone Hearth Bakery do incredible work nourishing our community with their baked goods while helping their employees get the skills they need so they can move on to sustainable long-term employment. I'm so glad that the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency was able to support their bakery upgrades. Everyone deserves a good-paying job that they love, and the Government of Canada is proud to support programs that help people overcome the obstacles that may stand in their way."

- The Honourable Lena Metlege Diab, MP for Halifax West

"MetroWorks has been running social enterprises for over 40 years. As one of our longest running social enterprises, Stone Hearth Bakery has been providing our community with locally-made baked goods while also providing learning, training and employment pathways for those facing challenges finding meaningful work. This funding from ACOA has allowed us to upgrade our bakery facilities so that we can increase our output and the number of individuals we support and train on the latest equipment."

- Dave Rideout, President and CEO of MetroWorks

Quick facts

  • For 46 years, MetroWorks Employment Association (MetroWorks) has been offering vocational training and employment to adults and youth who face challenges finding meaningful work

  • MetroWorks promotes community participation of new Canadians, visible minorities, and adults and youth who are facing employment barriers. It offers supported training and skills development and employment programs through enterprises such as Ampersand Café and Common Roots Urban Farms. MetroWorks provides approximately 350 training and job skills opportunities on an annual basis.

  • Stone Hearth Bakery was established in 1982 to deliver vocational training to those who have experienced difficulty finding and maintaining employment due to a mental health challenge. It now supplies baked goods to 44 restaurants, five large institutional customers and 14 retailers in Nova Scotia

  • Today’s announcement builds on an initial non-repayable contribution of $75,000 to this project in 2021. ACOA’s total contribution to this project is $247,000.

  • The funding announced today is provided through ACOA’s Innovative Communities Fund (ICF).

Associated links


Marianne Blondin
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Official Languages and of the
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Lauren Sinclair
Director of Communications
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Dave Rideout
President and CEO
MetroWorks Employment Association

Stay connected

Follow ACOA on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: