Tulsa Woman Bakes Her Way To Second Chance
TULSA, Oklahoma - A woman who got five DUIs in five years has turned her life around and now wants to help others do the same. She's opening a home bakery designed to give people a second chance.
Kimberly Long is all too familiar with addiction. She's experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. Now she is using her dark past to enlighten others who are trying to get their lives back on track through her passion of baking.
Drinking to celebrate; drinking to forget; drinking just to drink. It didn't matter. It took five DUIs to give Kimberly Long a wake up call.
"I think I thought I was hiding it from people, but people could tell I was drinking and I didn't know - but they just quit calling or they quit relying on me," said Kimberly Long of Big House Desserts.
That fifth DUI put her in jail for nine days and left her with two choices: prison or drug court. After some push back, she enrolled in drug court six months later.
Drying out left her with plenty of free time to discover her passion.
"I learned how to do other things to keep myself occupied, and one of those things was baking," she said.
"I believe that is when my personal transformation started. That spark that I could make people smile again. That they trusted me again. That they believed in me again. It was just that little bit," said Kimberly Long.
This year, Long turned that transformation into a business: Big House Desserts. She's now working to hire women who are coping with addiction or coming out of prison.
"It is really hard to find a job when you are a convicted felon," Long said. "And several of these women, even after they go through the program, a lot of the charges get dismissed but several of them had already been to prison and those charges don't get dismissed."
After 18 months of drug court, Long graduated on Friday. Now she wants to inspire others.
"You have to want it," she said. "You have to want to start living and stop dying - and when you are in addiction you are dying."
Long hopes to open her own bakery soon, but for now, she says she's just baking a comeback one bite at a time.