Dornhelm, Rice Cakes help charities


by Elizabeth Egle

CoffeeHouse visitors can now enjoy home-baked treats knowing their money has gone to a charity.

Rice Cakes, a project initiated by Hanszen College senior Rachel Dornhelm, sells homemade brownies, muffins and breads through the CoffeeHouse. The profits are sent to non-profit community organizations including Urban Harvest, the Houston Read Commission and the Women's Shelter at the Star of Hope Mission.

Dornhelm said that she enjoyed contributing to these organizations, although she does need assistance and will soon begin advertising to get help with the daily baking. Rice Cakes is a one-woman operation.

"People help on a sporadic basis," Dornhelm said. She usually does all the baking on her own. Right now, the baking is done in Dornhelm's house although she is hoping for permission to use the Hanszen kitchen regularly. She is also applying for funds to subsidize Rice Cakes because, as she said, "baking gets expensive." Dornhelm has been buying all the ingredients with her own money and dropping the finished desserts off at the CoffeeHouse.

Dornhelm spent one year studying at Swarthmore College; the inspiration for Rice Cakes came from an entirely student-run cafe at Swarthmore that sold only student-baked goods.

Eventually, Dornhelm wants Rice Cakes to be sponsored by groups of students willing to bake and give the profits to charity.

CoffeeHouse General Manager Rusty Holleman said, "Rice Cakes has been very well-received by customers, [although] most people don't realize that the profits go almost entirely to a non-profit organization."

Dornhelm bases the project at the CoffeeHouse because its managers agreed to carry the items.

"We're happy to be of service," Personnel Manager Stephanie Taylor said.

According to Holleman, selling Rice Cakes has nearly eliminated the CoffeeHouse's sale of muffins and slightly decreased their profits.

But, Taylor said, allowing Dornhelm to use the CoffeeHouse "is the least [we] could do."


This item appeared in the News section of the October 18, 1996 issue.


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