Stephanie Shipley has lived in Milwaukee for the last two decades. It was through her work in the nonprofit sector as a community organizer that she became acquainted with the issues pertinent to the city’s West Side. It also motivated her move to the Washington Park neighborhood.
"I feel everyone is isolated right now, " laments Stephanie. This realization drove and continues to drive her to create and nurture communal spaces in the neighborhood. Stephanie, and her husband David created a public space, Amaranth Bakery, where community members can gather and get to know one another. Stephanie bought the building, "because it needed to be bought". She also recognized the importance of food, the benefits of different food experiences, and the need for food adventures! Thus the bakery was born.
Preparing foods for the bakery and participating in community meetings means she finds sleep when she can. What keeps her focused and what she says helps the business stay malleable and responsive, is having a wider vision and the wider context in mind. Influenced by her years as a community organizer, she sees the benefits of having shared spaces in the smiles of the children in her neighborhood.
Carol Deptolla, "Community Rises with Amaranth Owner's Breads, Baked Goods, Journal Sentinel, March 27, 2012, (Accessed July 12, 2014).
Stephanie Shipley, interview by Milan Outlaw, June 2014.
Fractured neighborhood groups, lack of political and communal leaders, and "inorganic" activities.
Shipley's work with children.
A wider vision
Stephanie Shipley talks about her dreams of opening up the range of food available to everyone in the neighborhood.
Stephanie Shipley talks about one of her favorite places in her home.