The Duchess of Sussex previously featured Luminary Bakery in the September issue of British Vogue, which she guest edited, and on her Instagram page

By Stephanie Petit
November 01, 2019 10:15 AM

Meghan Markle made a surprise visit to an organization that combines two of her passions: cooking and uplifting women.

Earlier this week, the Duchess of Sussex celebrated the new location opening of Luminary Bakery, a business that equips women from vulnerable circumstances — those who have experienced homelessness, violence, sexual assault or mental health issues — with the job skills and confidence to succeed.

The royal mom, 38, wore an apron (just like she has during her visits to the Hubb Community Kitchen) over her striped button up and jeans, worn with Adina Reyter earrings, and chatted with women as they baked sweet treats and attended workshops. Meghan even helped decorate a three-tiered cake with strawberries before making the honorary first cut to cheers.

Sussex Royal/Instagram

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The social enterprise bakery, which was founded in 2014 by Alice Williams, Sarah Harrison and Abigail Mifsud, has transformed the lives of over 50 women in the U.K. so far. Their aim is to empower women who have been the victims of violence, sex trafficking, been in the prison system or homeless, by teaching them how to bake. In addition to learning baking skills, they also offer education on food hygiene, money management and computer literacy, with many of the women getting jobs at the bakery or at other food establishments after they graduate.

Meghan Markle at Luminary Bakery
Rii Schroer/The Telegraph

The Duchess of Sussex reminded the women this week that people are always “wanting things done immediately” and needing an “instant fix” to problems, The Telegraph reports.

Meghan told a woman named Tanya, who was stabbed multiple times by her violent ex-partner, “But we aren’t mechanical objects that need to be fixed. You’re a wounded creature that needs to be healed and that takes time.”

Meghan Markle
JEREMY SELWYN/POOL/AFP/Getty

Meghan told The Telegraph’s Bryony Gordon, “I find that when you strip all the layers away, as people, and especially as women, we can find deep connection with each other, and a shared understanding.”

Meghan Markle meets with a "graduate" of Luminary Bakery, Monica.
Rii Schroer/The Telegraph

“Our lives may be different, our backgrounds, our experiences, all varied, but I find that in these moments of connection it becomes abundantly clear that our hopes, our fears, our insecurities, the things that make us tick…. well, those are very much the same,” she added. “And there’s comfort in that.”

Meghan previously visited Luminary Bakery’s flagship store and included them in the September issue of British Vogue, which she guest edited.

The bakery also made Meghan’s cake for her 38th birthday in August, according to Good Morning America. The creative bakers crafted a beautifully-decorated carrot cake with orange peels and pumpkin seeds placed on top alongside the message, “Happy Birthday Meghan,” written in chocolate icing.

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She even featured the organization on her joint Instagram page with Prince Harry, writing in her own words why she is choosing to shine a spotlight on the small independent London bakery making a difference.

“What they’ve created at Luminary Bakery is exceptional – it’s a space for baking, healing and rebuilding,” she posted in August alongside a picture of cupcakes with bright blue icing, each one featuring a different inspirational message.

“There were some incredibly powerful moments shared by the Duchess and our training programme graduates, who got to share a little of their journey with her,” Luminary Bakery wrote on Twitter. “A truly special day for the Luminary family!”

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