You can see sometimes the sign “HONOKA” on the road going toward Oirase-cho from the POL Gate, the back gate of Misawa Air Base. We had a chance to see their work. Therefore, I would like to introduce the HONOKA Bakery to you today.
All HONOKA's breads are made by handicapped people. Seven handicapped people are making the breads at the factory, and three handicapped people are selling the breads at the shop, HONOKA. Also, there is an occupational therapist. The role of the occupational therapist is to work with their clients to help them achieve a fulfilled and satisfied life through the use of a "purposeful activity or interventions designed to achieve functional outcomes which promote health, prevent injury or disability and which develop, improve, sustain or restore the highest possible level of independence.
We talked to the occupation therapist at this time. She works with handicapped people everyday to support their work. The handicapped people take charge of making the breads according to their ability. If they have high ability, they measure the flour, butter and other ingredients and cut the dough for the bread and put it in the refrigerator. The others wash the dishes and clean up while the occupational therapist supervises. Of course, there are some problems in their community, she said. The hardest thing is that it is so difficult for them to keep their temper. Sometimes, they lose their temper and in that situation, the occupational therapist has to take care of them very carefully. However, she can't take all of her time for someone who has a problem because the other people have to finish their work. That is the difficult part in their community. But, I think in that situation it is the same way in our human relationships or any other work environments.
The occupational therapist said, “My work is not easy, but I want to make the people who work with me smile and be happy at work and learn something through the work. I think that is a very important thing to be a full member of society.” They look to be doing their best and look very happy to do their work. Seeing them, I feel very happy, too.
The HONOKA's breads make up to 30 kinds daily at the factory; what is more, different kinds are switched and made depending on each season. They bake about 300 breads every day. The most popular bread is Anpan which is filled with a sweet red bean paste. It is 50 yen each. They bake 40 to 50 Anpan breads every day. They want everyone to feel free to come and buy at a moderate price. One of their recommendations is the white bread with carrot. Grated carrot is put in the white bread. They said this is good for children to eat. Especially for the baby food, it is very good and healthy. Every Wednesday, French bread is in the shop. Around 2:00 p.m., they bring the fresh French bread to the shop.
HONOKA's bread is made of flour, rich milk, rich egg and rich butter. That makes the bread sweater and softer. The eggs and milk are made in Misawa. The occupational therapist has to think about new bread recipe every month. She wants to use local foods for their bread. I think they use many good ingredients and seasonal foods for their breads. They are trying something new every time.
They have some weaving looms. They invite a weaving teacher and have a weaving class. Some handicapped people weave a purse, bag, coaster, etc. Weaved items are sold at HONOKA, and some of the handicapped even make drawings with oil painting. Some of the pictures are hung at HONOKA. I saw very colorful and happy pictures.
The occupational therapist hopes to increase the place where the handicapped people can work, and she wants handicapped people to know there is something they can do. The HONOKA's bread made is full of their thankfulness.
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