Local Abundance: Healthy Sisters’ Soup and Bean Works

Experiences of trauma and distress can lead to chronic unemployment, poverty, and social displacement. Healthy Sisters’ Soup and Bean Works was set up as a social enterprise to provide support for women in the Rochester region who are recovering from traumatic or distressful situations. Each year, they help approximately 25 women receive job training, earn a stipend, and develop self-confidence in order to enter or re-enter the workforce. Once accepted onto the six-month program, the women assemble the dry soup and chili mix packets, help sell the products at events, and take part in other aspects of the business’s operations.


“Beans of esteem” 

HEALTHYSISTERS3We love that Healthy Sisters’ Soup and Bean Works is contributing good to our community. All of the profits they raise go directly to support their mission of providing program participants with a foundation of skills they can use to find permanent employment.

Maria Ray (Project Supervisor) and Rafael Larramendi (Social Business Manager) are the program directors at Health Sisters’. They work with each woman on the program through training activities and workshops, while overseeing the running of the business. Maria and Rafael help the women to develop important skills that employers typically look for in interviews, like time management or dealing with workplace conflicts.

A delicious product

Healthy Sisters’ dry soup, bean, and chili mixes are absolutely delicious. Each packet comes with a medley of dried beans, legumes, or a grain with a selection of herbs and spices right in the bag. All you need to do is drop the mix into a pot and follow the easy-peasy recipe on the back to get a home-cooked, natural soup or bean chili. The human face behind each bag is never far: the signature of the woman who packed it is on the front label.


The Catholic Family Center

The Catholic Family Center (CFC) is located in downtown Rochester. They manage a range of support services for families in need, as well as housing opportunities for men, women, and children who are experiencing homelessness. In fact, CFC is the largest family service provider in Rochester with nearly 38,000 people receiving support from one of their programs. CFC is also a New York State Certified Mental Health Clinic that provides outpatient mental health treatment and medication therapy for patients of all ages and needs. Advocacy campaigns for social justice are also an important goal of the CFC’s work.


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