Written by Hannah Danielski
From 4-year olds to 104-year olds, Chet Fery has been able to spread a message of kindness through bread. For the past 18 years ,“The Breadman” has been spreading kindness to the people he has met through bread. He believes bread contains something special within it that puts a smile on people’s faces and is able to transform them. He has made over 90,000 loaves and gives them to people of all ages to help give kindness to them and then on to others.
Fery comes from a family who enjoyed baking and cooking. As he was raising his family, every Sunday would be their baking day. His children would line up around the kitchen table waiting for that first slice of hot bread. He would often have leftovers and would bring them to work the next morning at Gates-Chili school district to give to other employees. People enjoyed the bread so much that they would come to work early on Monday’s just to make sure they got some. Fery was able to see the smile it put on his coworkers faces and how the bread transformed a person’s day, especially early on a Monday morning. This showed him what impact kindness can have on people and this then led him to start his work of giving out bread.
Today, Fery can be seen all over Rochester giving out bread, doing workshops about kindness with his bread, and even giving motivational speeches about kindness. Marina Fery, who is Chet’s wife was never surprised that he started with the work he does. In Brockport, Fery gives bread to local businesses such as Java Junction or Aldi’s and gives it out every Sunday at the Newman Oratory. He believes this helps build community and makes everyone feel like they are a part of something bigger.
Fery does not see himself stopping anytime soon even though he is thinking of stopping once he hits 100,000 loaves. His work has affected many people and has changed the way they live and view their life. Fery has proved that something as simple as sharing bread can change you as a person and how you perceive the world.