Spotlight: Havenly Treats

September’s New York Monthly Meeting’s Spotlight featured Ben Weiss ’20 and Caterina Passoni ’18, co-founders of Havenly Treats, a nonprofit with a mission to support refugee integration through education and employment. Havenly Treats runs a bakery that serves a classroom for refugee women to “earn while they learn” in an intensive, 6-month paid job training program. 

Here is a message from Founders Caterina Passoni and Ben Weiss:

We founded Havenly Treats with a mission to support immigrant communities in New Haven by redirecting resources from Yale to the community. Our co-founder, Nieda, was resettled to our city from Iraq 5 years ago. In Iraq, she ran a bakery and two convenience stores. But in New Haven, she struggled to even land a normal job, barely supporting her family through cash assistance and food stamps. Poor English, limited literacy, and no social networks make it extremely challenging for refugees in our communities to access the same opportunities we do. Often, refugees choose underpaid jobs over education, getting stuck in cycles of poverty and unemployment. That is why we partnered with Nieda to launch a bakery that could equip refugee women with the skills they need to succeed in the food industry, while also earning an income.

Support from the Yale community, and especially from YANA, has been crucial to our success each and every step of the way. This year, we are gearing up to raise money for our own kitchen and office space, so as to support more fellows as we grow. We have also launched gift boxes, a perfect gift for the holidays or for corporate offices. Our gift boxes are available for shipping in CT (soon New York), and directly support the fellows in our program. You can buy a box on our website today! If you or someone you know can help us raise money or market our gift boxes, or is interested in gift boxes for their office or the holidays, please do connect with us at

Each and every sale and donation makes a difference, but most of all, mentorship is what we need. You can sign up for our newsletter on our website, or follow us on Instagram or Facebook @havenlytreats. Thank you to YANA for the opportunity, community, and support. 



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