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Pittsburgh Bakery Turning Out Sweet Treats And Second Chances

OAKMONT, Pa. (KDKA) -- People sometimes need a second chance in life, but someone has to be willing to help out.

One bakery in the Pittsburgh area is giving that chance as it makes delicious memories. Treats at Oakmont Bakery start off as a messy mix. The same could be said for some people's lives.

"I never had a life like this. My life was always chaos," Dan Carnavale said.

"Totally self-sabotage," Joe Monde said.

Carnavale and Monde are two of the people creating delicious memories at the bakery. Just like the cakes, each of them has faced some heat in their lives.

"I went from three life sentences at SCI Albion to this. What a change in life," Carnavale said.

He served 14 years in state prison before his conviction was overturned. Three months after he was released, he started working at the bakery. That was a little over a year ago.

"I've never had a job like this. I've never had a good job in my life," Carnavale said to KDKA.

Monde, a person recovering from alcoholism, served three years in jail for aggravated assault. He has since gotten sober, and now has 13 years with the company.

"The past, I was in a cold, dark lonely place. I don't want to live that way," Monde said.

"Once you hear about their story, hear about their background, we have to give this person a second chance," Oakmont Bakery General Manager Tony Serrao said.

Serrao and owner Marc Serrao said they don't go looking to hire people with a checkered past, but they aren't going to kick them to the curb. More than a half-dozen people on staff have some troubles in their past.

"I honestly feel like everybody deserves a second chance. We have all messed up, maybe to different degrees, but we all mess up. I think that all humans have been given a second chance one way or another," Serrao said.

"This is probably my third or fourth chance in life. I've been through so much but this was so great. I did a quarter of my life in prison for no reason whatsoever," said Carnavale, who feels this job has been one of the best things in his life.

"They all accepted me as a friend and a co-worker and they treat me like family here," added Carnavale.

Now Monde enjoys time with his wife and grandchildren. Carnavale is set to get married this fall.

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