Dave Dahl: Portland’s Killer Bread Maker On Maintaining Hope, Giving Back and Staying Well

For 25-plus years, Constructing Hope has, well, built hope among those looking to get into the construction industry. It’s worked with nearly 1,300 people, introducing them to trades that, by generating skills and paychecks, has effected positive change.

The group captured the attention of Dave Dahl, the founder of Dave’s Killer Bread who advocates for building careers for those who may not have societal advantages, along with giving second chances to reformed prisoners and others. Dahl, whose family sold the company six years ago, has given the group $25,000 this year (after a $100,000 gift last year).

We talked to Dahl — who learned how to bake during a 15-year prison term — by phone on Wednesday about his support for Constructing Hope, as well as his other endeavors (including his Discover African Art, which procures and sells an array of pieces) and, given some of his post-prison challenges, his own mental health.

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