St. John's started as a drop-in centre in a strip mall on 53 Blake Street in South Riverdale. Two stores down was Joe Link's bakery. The second day we moved in, Joe arrived with a whole tray of doughnuts, and after that he just kept dropping by and bringing us wonderful, fragrant goodies from his bakery.
Joe's history took a turn for the worse. He took ill and lost his family and his bakery—everything. He ended up on the street. But slowly, he started pulling his life together, baking bread at our drop-in centre with his old equipment. We saw him being transformed; he "rose" like his bread. We started to sell his bread throughout the neighborhood. Two years later, Joe died. It was a terrible loss for us. But he left us his old dough mixer and a taste and desire for good bread and honest labour.