I first heard about Cons and Kernels when I attended Green Light Arts' production of Guarded Girls earlier this year. Given that show was about women's experiences in prison, it seemed a fitting partnership. Cons and Kernels sells popcorn but what makes it unique is that it's run by a woman who has also served time in prison. Her hope is to reduce the stigma associated with hiring people with prior convictions through education and having a little fun with it.
The website's introduction sums up well that philosophy: "We broke the law, but we fix good snacks! We blend unique ingredients to make compellingly delicious recipes that offer a fresh take on gourmet popcorn, made with conviction. From outlaws to outreach, spreading the truth one kernel at a time! Cons & Kernels believes in second chances, and will provide reintegration opportunities and educate the public through a variety of fun and educational awareness campaigns."
Emily, the owner of Cons and Kernels, also writes a blog which you can find on the website as well. Here she addresses a number of important issues around reintegration of offenders. Here's a small blurb from one of her posts: "One thing that is crucial to the successful reintegration of offenders after prison is being able to find work. As many people know, that’s a difficult thing for many because of the obligation to either disclose that they went to prison or get criminal record checks. Even if they get to the final interview, if it's between a convict and someone without that history, the employer will usually choose the other person. As a business, Cons & Kernels is one of many employers that seeks out candidates who have been to prison." Read more on the blog. #365ofgoodWR