Cookies for ADAMÂ, A Refugee Bakery in Uganda

Macrina is donating all net proceeds to the Adamâ Bakery during the week of July 25 from café sales of our four packs of Brown Sugar Shortbread Cookies. We also urge café customers to donate directly to the bakery here.

“I am happy now that I spend most of my days baking, and my nights are peaceful,” said Kareem, an eighteen-year-old refugee who lost his family to violence in Congo. “I thank the bakers who have trained us. They have contributed so much to my trauma healing. Above all, I have found a family in Adamâ.”

The ADAMÂ Bakery is located by the Oruchinga Settelment Camp in southwest Uganda. The camp is home to over 9,000 refugees from Burundi, Congo, Rwanda, and other parts of East Africa. Many have escaped unspeakable tragedies at home.

Jeffrey Hamelman and Mitch Stamm, both renowned and recently retired bakers, were invited by Ayelet Berman-Cohen, the founder and executive director of the Adamâ Foundation, to travel to Uganda and help the bakery get going. They spent a few weeks there. For nearly thirty years, Leslie has collaborated on regional events with Jeffery and Mitch through the Bread Bakers Guild of America. Through this connection, Macrina learned about Adamâ and was inspired to become an annual donor.

“When the refugees arrive, they are given four eucalyptus poles and a tarp,” says Jeffrey. “The tarp and poles become their home. New arrivals are also given a machete and a hoe so they can hack out some jungle and hopefully get some seeds. If they are successfully raising their prospects, they use homemade bricks to build a mud hut with no windows, no electricity, no running water, and an amazing number of people are crammed into a tiny space. Refugees get $3.74 a month from the UN for food.”

“They’ve been stripped of everything except their dignity,” Mitch says. “They ran into the bush with nothing upon seeing family members killed. Some people are born in the refugee camp. They’ll spend their entire lives there.”

The bakery is located in a small house next to the refugee camp. The oven is wood fired, as is the proof box. A 35-kilo electric mixer and an electric bread slicer are all the powered equipment they have. Twenty-four bakers arrive every day for work. They learn a trade, earn an income, and distribute a portion of the day’s baked goods to children in the settlements.

“The bakers are three-fourths women,” says Jeffrey. “They have an unbelievable amount of dignity. They walk to the bakery. The different nationalities work well together, they harmonize. They are absolutely overjoyed to be able to learn a skill, provide bread for their families, and for thousands of children to whom bread is given free.”

Angella Kushemererwa and Sophie Karungi manage the bakery. They work full-time at the bakery and also have full-time jobs, Angella at the United Nations, and Sophie providing trauma care in refugee settlements. At the end of every day, the bakers make trips deep into the community to hand out bread to children, many malnourished.

“Handing out the bread is an act of the utmost elation when you see the joy on the faces of the children who get the buns,” says Jeffrey. “The other emotional extreme is that the buns always run out before the desperate hands that are endlessly reaching out to get a bun, and that just crushes you. That happens every single time.”

The goal for the bakery is to become self-sustaining eventually, but for now keeping it open costs about $5,000 per month. The Adamâ Foundation plans to install a modern oven in the next few months.

“We know the needs are endless, but we’re hoping to help fund the acquisition of this oven,” says Scott France, president and part-owner of Macrina Bakery.

Jeffrey and Mitch are self-funding an upcoming trip to help get the oven installed. “The wood-burning oven is a weak link,” says Jeffrey. “It’s got four chambers. There’s a 50-degree temperature differential between the chambers. All the trays need to get shifted throughout the bake.”

The new equipment will help the bakery feed more children and will be a solid step toward self-sustainability.

“Some people might say you’re training 24 people, and you’re giving out tens of thousands of buns—this is just wonderful,” says Jeffrey. “And others might say, you better multiply that by a hundred if you’re gonna have any impact at all. Well, none of us is going to fix the world, but I feel like having an opportunity to do one little thing that’s helping these people….” Jeffrey pauses to compose himself. “You can tell half our heart is in Uganda. We know that we’ve changed their lives. They don’t know to what extent they’ve changed ours.”

You can donate directly to ADAMÂ here. All money goes to the bakers and has an incredible impact on the quality of their lives.

The Divine Flavor of Local Raspberries

Raspberries are a cornerstone of many of our products. Why? Because they’re just so good. Especially when they’re grown locally by small farms in Washington state. We’re excited to partner with the Washington State Red Raspberry Commission to celebrate red raspberries for the month of July!

Raspberries picked at the peak of ripeness have a complex tangy sweetness. With fresh raspberries now available year-round in supermarkets, grown and shipped primarily from Mexico and California, we tend to forget just how good they are fresh off the vine. Sun-warmed, bursting with intense flavor, freshly-picked raspberries are distant cousins of the raspberries grown to ship. Those are bred for durability over taste and picked firm for trucking. Local raspberries are allowed to ripen until theyre nearly ready to fall from the bush. 

Did you know that 90% of US frozen raspberries come from Washington State? 

The epicenter of Washington state’s raspberry crop is Lynden, a charming, historic town in Whatcom County near the Canadian border. Over 90 percent of Washington raspberries are grown within a 20-mile radius of Lynden. The moderate daytime temperatures, cool evenings, healthy soil, and dry summers produce berries with excellent color and flavor. The tasty crop is so sought after that most of America’s frozen raspberries now come from Washington state.

These arent your grandmothers frozen berries! Recent innovations to the freezing process, known as Individually Quick Frozen (IQF), a state-of-the-art technique where the berries are individually frozen in a wind tunnel at sub-zero temperatures that preserves shape and flavor integrity, have been a game-changer. Unlike the frozen raspberries of the past that made baked goods soggy, these can be substituted for fresh raspberries.  

Leslie Mackie, Macrinas founder, went to Lynden and visited with local farmers to better understand what makes their raspberries superior. She came away a convert. Leslie says, I thought the fresh market was best. Thats not necessarily true. Growers pick IQF fruit at the height of the season when it has optimal sweetness, appearance, and juiciness. Because their fruit is grown for flavor, its perishable. But the new freezing process allows us to enjoy the great taste all year long.  

The Washington state raspberry harvest begins in July. To celebrate, Lynden will host the annual Northwest Raspberry Festival over the weekend of July 16. Visitors can sample locally harvested raspberries in many forms. Eat them as nature made them or incorporated into foods and beverages of all kinds. 

Over the last year, Leslie has developed four new Macrina products using local berries: Chocolate Raspberry Muffins, Raspberry Oat SconesRaspberry Lemon Coffee Cake and Raspberry ConserveWe will be featuring them throughout July in honor of our states delicious raspberry harvest—and were delighted to be able to make them all year long with Washington state raspberries. 


Oats add texture and a delicate flavor to these lightly-sweetened vegan scones. Moist raspberries flavor every bite, and a hint of orange zest rounds out the taste.


By taste alone, you’d never know this decadent coffee cake was gluten-free!* Bursting with local raspberries and lemon zest, this sweet cake is finished with raspberry glaze.


These decadent muffins are both vegan and gluten-free.* They’re moist and richly flavored, with hints of cinnamon and vanilla.


This small batch fruit spread from founder Leslie Mackie’s Project Barnstorm features local produce and less sugar than your typical jam. Try it on one of our bagels or a slice of toasted bread!

*Made with gluten-free ingredients but produced in a gluten-friendly environment.


Chocolate and Tahini Date Mousse

Julia Child’s recipes continue to inspire me. Chocolate mousse was one of Julia’s favorite desserts. Her version is the real deal, with egg yolks going into the base and the whites whipped separately to add the airy texture. These days, for convenience or out of concern for lightly cooked eggs, most mousses are made with whipped cream folded in to add the richness missing from eggs. For a more contemporary take, I’ve adapted Julia’s recipe to create a layered dessert that combines rich chocolate mousse with a lighter complement of date-sweetened tahini mousse.
-Leslie Mackie

Printable PDF of this recipe here.

Makes 4 servings (6 oz cups) 

½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 Tbsp espresso or strong coffee
12 Tbsp unsalted butter (1½ sticks), room temperature, divided
5 Medjool dates, pitted, divided
½ cup warm water, divided
¼ cup tahini
4 eggs, separated
¾ cup + 2 Tbsp granulated sugar, divided
Pinch salt
¼ cup orange liquor (Grand Marnier, triple sec or Cointreau; or substitute 2 Tbsp water + 2 Tbsp vanilla extract)
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
1 Tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
½ cup heavy cream

Create a double boiler by filling a saucepan with 2 inches of water and bringing it to a simmer, then placing a medium heat-proof bowl over the saucepan (it shouldn’t touch the water). Place the chocolate chips and espresso in the bowl. As the chocolate melts, stir it occasionally to prevent scorching. Once the chocolate is smooth, remove the bowl and add 6 Tbsp of butter, bit by bit. Whisk after each addition until thoroughly combined. Set aside.

Coarsely chop 4 dates. Place them in a bowl and cover with ¼ cup of warm water. Allow them to soften for 5 minutes, then drain and place in a food processor. Add the tahini and remaining ¼ cup of water. Blend to make a smooth paste. Use a spatula to scrape the paste into a medium heat-proof bowl. Set it on top of your saucepan of simmering water. Warm the paste and add the remaining butter, a little at a time, whisking to blend thoroughly. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whip attachment and whip until frothy. Add 1 Tbsp of the sugar and a pinch of salt. Whip to medium-firm peaks. Transfer to another bowl and set aside.

Place the egg yolks, ¾ cup of sugar and the orange liquor into the stand mixer bowl (make sure it’s cleaned from the previous step). Combine the ingredients well. Set the stand mixer bowl over the double boiler (water should still be simmering), whisk the egg mixture constantly, warming the eggs to 120°F (use an instant read thermometer). The eggs will become frothy in about 1 to 2 minutes. Do not let the eggs cook completely or scramble.

Remove the warmed egg mixture and fit the bowl back into the stand mixer. With a whisk attachment, mix at medium speed for 2 to 4 minutes to cool and aerate the egg mixture. The mixture will become lighter in color and texture.

In two additions, divide the egg mixture equally between the chocolate and tahini bowls. After each addition, gently fold to incorporate.

Use the same procedure (two additions each) to fold the whipped egg whites into the chocolate and tahini bowls. Be patient and fold delicately—to create mousse, you want to entirely dissolve the whites into the mixture without deflating the texture.

Divide the chocolate mousse between your four cups, then top each with the tahini mousse. If you’re using 6 oz cups, they should be filled to the brim. Chill for 4 hours.

Sprinkle half the top with cocoa powder and the other half with sesame seeds. Whip the heavy cream and remaining 1 Tbsp sugar by hand until it has soft peaks. Right before serving, top each glass with a dollop of the whipped cream and a slice of the remaining date. Edible flowers add a beautiful touch.

The mousse will keep for 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator. Enjoy!