Dog Tag Bakery on Dec. 6 celebrated the grand opening of its bakery in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Located at 3206 Grace Street NW, Dog Tag Bakery employs military veterans and their spouses in baking and business positions who have gone through a tailored curriculum at Georgetown University. The bakery gives 100 percent of profits to the military and their families.

Dog Tag Bakery in Georgetown provides a vehicle for military veterans to put their newly acquired skills into context. The storefront includes a state of the art bakery and kitchen as well as classroom space. In addition to serving the Georgetown community, Dog Tag Bakery also completes catering and mail orders, allowing Dog Tag fellows to manage a nationwide business. By facilitating a business rotation through the storefront, fellows will have a chance to learn every aspect of a small business including business and staff management, product creation, customer service, marketing, and operations.

Dog Tag Inc. was founded in 2012 to provide a new model for a work-study program that supports veterans with disabilities and spouses. The storefront located in Georgetown was procured in July of 2013. The building includes the café and bakery on the first floor, with the classroom and administrative offices on the second.

In collaboration with Georgetown University’s School of Continuing Studies, a specialized certification degree was developed in 2013. The first class of fellows entered the six-month program in June 2014.

Founded by Father Rick Curry and Connie Milstein, Dog Tag Inc. was born out of the shared conviction that no veteran who wants to work and pursue their career goals should be unemployed. The founders are drawing on their experiences as social innovators and advocates for veterans and persons with disabilities to create a national model to support veterans and their families as they begin a new chapter in their lives. Together, Father Curry and Milstein are convening educators, experts and leading entrepreneurs to ensure that Dog Tag Inc. is a robust, enriching and sustainable social enterprise that spreads nationwide.

Meghan Ogilve joined Dog Tag Inc. as chief operating officer in early 2012. She has more than six years of experience in the financial sector, having worked for Lehman Brothers, Barclays Capital, and Macquarie Group in management, administrative organization, and human resources.

Justin Ford serves as the general manager of Dog Tag Inc. In this role, he manages the business side of the organization. Ford leads Dog Tag’s students through the hands-on entrepreneurship-focused business rotation. Upon joining the organization, he played an intricate role in the development of the student recruitment process.

Rebecca Clerget began her work with Dog Tag Inc. as a consultant in May of 2014 and as head pastry chef in August 2014. Her responsibilities include the management of bakery operations, execution and implementation of menu items for our retail bakery, and overseeing the baking and pastry training for our veterans and their spouses. Previously, she worked in top restaurants and luxury hotels in the United States and in Europe. She won “best young pastry chef” in the United Kingdom in 2006 from the Academy of Food and Wine and represented England in the first ever Roussillon Dessert Trophy in southwest France. She has worked part time at The White House since the end of the Bush administration and spent the last four years as executive pastry chef and beekeeper for The Fairmont Hotel in Georgetown where she ran a successful and creative pastry department. She is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America.

Dog Tag Bakery’s menu includes a variety for breakfast, lunch, and snacks. Different coffee and teas, including specialty drinks like cappuccinos and green chai, are available as well.

Breakfast items include egg and cheese sandwiches, breakfast breads like Earl Grey loaf and Lemon Poppy loaf, bagels, muffins, scones, croissants, and fruit and yogurt. Lunch items include soups, salads, quiches, sandwiches and breads.

Snacks and desserts include cookies, brownies, oatmeal bars, biscotti, flavored custard-filled “TeaClairs,” financiers in chocolate, lemon or berry, and white and dark 10-layer cake.

A special element of the bakery features a dog tag chandelier, which is composed of 3,456 individual dog tags. This magnificent display is meant to honor all those servicemen and women who have fallen in the defense of our nation. Because Dog Tag’s program is a community-based solution to the challenges posed by veteran unemployment, the bakery invites customers to purchase a dog tag to reflect support of the endeavor. Dog tags are available for a donation of $125.

Dog tags can be inscribed with a brief personalized message of your design and hung from the ceiling of the bakery. The proceeds of each purchase go directly toward the continuation of Dog Tag’s program.