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Good Coffee, Better Cause: Bunny Bakes & Specialty Coffee in Pittsburgh

In November, Pittsburgh welcomed Bunny Bakes & Specialty Coffee, a unique addition to its culinary landscape located at 1926 Murray Ave. This 20-seat establishment is not just a place for enjoying food and beverages; it’s a venture with a profound mission. Operated by the Friendship Circle, Bunny Bakes employs workers with special needs and diverse abilities, embodying inclusivity at its core.

The cafe’s design prioritizes accessibility for patrons of all abilities, featuring accessible seating and tables, along with an adult changing table in one of its two restrooms. This thoughtful design ensures that everyone, regardless of ability, can enjoy what Bunny Bakes has to offer comfortably.

Bunny Bakes boasts an array of baked goods and beverages, crafted on site, as highlighted on their Instagram account. Customers can indulge in a selection of cookies, muffins, cakes, and rolls, alongside beverages like the rose blossom latte, honey bunny latte, salted caramel hot chocolate, and several more.

Since 2006, Friendship Circle has been dedicated to building connections among individuals of different abilities, faiths, and education levels. Rabbi Mordy Rudolph, co-founder of Friendship Circle, envisioned a workspace for career training and a bakery-cafe that could offer employment opportunities across various roles, including bakers, baristas, servers, and inventory managers. The success of pop-up cafes at Friendship Circle’s adjacent location confirmed the bakery-coffee shop concept as a viable means to provide meaningful employment.

The cafe, named in honor of Bernita “Bunny” Buncher, a donor and president of the Buncher Family Foundation, reflects a community’s dedication to inclusivity and support. Jewish TikTok influencer Melinda Strauss shares, “What’s so special about Bunny Bakes, besides their baked goods actually being so delicious and beautiful, is that it’s run by Friendship Circle, and they train their special needs members to join the workforce by working in the bake shop. Even the shop itself accommodates everyone with accessible seating and tables. And everything is made on site!” Workers at Bunny Bakes are compensated at or above minimum wage, underlining the commitment to fair employment practices.

Bunny Bakes’ kosher certification is from the Vaad Harabonim of Pittsburgh.

It is located in 1926 Murray Ave, Pittsburgh, and is open Tuesday & Thursday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Wednesday & Friday 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.