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A Family Business With an Open-Minded Hiring Policy Dave's Killer Bread, a Milwaukie, Ore.-based family business, gives ex-cons a second chance.

By John Patrick Pullen

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Six feet tall with the proportions of an action figure, Dave Dahl has arms thicker than most people's legs, a snowplow of a jaw, long hair and a chest that looks overstuffed with pride. As he swaggers through the bakery of his Milwaukie, Ore.-based company, Dave's Killer Bread, it's easy to imagine him walking around a prison courtyard--a circuit Dahl has walked many times.

A self-described "four-time loser," Dahl spent more than 15 years in prison, on charges ranging from armed robbery to dealing methamphetamine. In 1997 alone, he was arrested five times in three different counties. During his last prison stint, Dahl became suicidal. "I was ready," he admits. "It was over for me."

Dahl was treated for depression, and after an early release from prison in 2004 decided to rejoin the family business. He started working for his brother, Glenn, at the bakery their father founded in 1955.

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