Yesterday, July 29, 2015, Milwaukie-based Dave's Killer Bread announced that it will launch Dave’s Killer Bread Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to helping those with criminal histories find work. At the core of its agenda, Dave’s Killer Bread Foundation is gathering 10,000 signatures as a sign of support for 'second chance' employment. The Foundation wants to influence other employers to hire ex-cons.
Roughly one-third of Dave's Killer Bread's 300 employees have criminal pasts, and the company's co-founder, Dave Dahl, whose long-haired, mustachioed, muscle-bound, guitar-wielding image appears on all of it packaging, is no stranger to the law.
Dave Dahl has both a criminal background and success story. Dave spent 15 years in and out of prison. Then, in 2005, his brother Glenn gave him a second chance by hiring him at his then bakery, NatureBake. Dave created the now famous bread recipe for Dave's Killer Bread, which is today sold in 17 varieties—all in its easily recognizable packaging. The bread is made from whole grains, has won multiple awards, and is widely available in grocery stores.
In 2013, Dave was arrested again—this time on charges of attempted assault, resisting police, unlawful use of a weapon, and more. The incident, attributed to a mental breakdown, involved a police chase during which Dave rammed three police cars with his Cadillac Escalade in Washington County. In 2014, he was found guilty except for insanity, and he is currently completing his sentence out of custody.