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Bixby restaurant closes after helping women transition out of prison

Posted at 5:37 PM, Feb 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-20 19:35:23-05

BIXBY, Okla. — A Green Country restaurant that helped women transition out of rehab or prison has closed.

With not enough business to stay open, Bixby's Le Jardin Eatery shut their doors Thursday after only 7 months.

"The day before I had just gotten out of rehab and I was looking for employment," said Tara Bjornson.

For Bjornson, working there was a way out of a life of crime and addiction.

"It was just a wonderful atmosphere and I knew that was where I was supposed to be," said Bjornson.

Angela Landrum is the CEO and Founder of Sugar Rush Bakery and Le Jardin Eatery.

She believes employment and housing are the top two issues women have as they're transitioning out of prison and said it's not just the women who are affected.

"It's a family and those numbers are multiplied and we the people, have the power to make a difference if we just decide we want to," Landrum said.

Landrum said there are too many boundaries and barriers in Oklahoma that are keeping women away from continuing education and quality jobs.

The result is low income and makes it difficult to ever break out of the cycle.

"The minimum wage is not a livable wage and how can we expect people to provide for themselves and their kids when 85 percent of these women have children," Landrum said.

Landrum said she's proud her restaurant helped women understand that while they may have struggles in life, everyone is important.

"It's put into our heads that because we had failures the past or because we've been in addiction that we can't succeed and that's just not true." Bjornson said.

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