“I was a four-time loser before I realized I was in the wrong game.” That was the first line of the autobiographical story that appeared on the back of every loaf of Dave’s Killer Bread from 2005 to 2014. “Four-time loser” refers to his four prison sentences for crimes ranging from burglary to armed robbery to drug dealing.
He once shared abandoned houses with cockroaches on the streets of Detroit in the dead of winter, and now he lives in a luxurious high-rise penthouse in downtown PDX. His story epitomizes transformation.
The story on the bread bag remained unchanged until 2014 after Dahl had a well-publicized mental breakdown. He had to accept that—at least for Dave Dahl—there’s no “happily ever after”. But he finds great satisfaction in “fighting the good fight”, one day at a time. He believes that forgiveness of self and others is essential to inner peace and personal growth. But it’s only one of many lessons he’s come away with through all of his struggles—and triumphs.
Dave’s Killer Bread, a family endeavor, was sold to Flowers Foods in 2015, leaving Dave with a void to fill. He spent the next 2-plus years building what is perhaps the largest collection of African tribal art in the world. During this time, he lived a semi-hermetic lifestyle.
Now, with a healed heart and mind, he steps back out on a mission to help inspire others to find their own brand of success.
Dave: “‘Good Seed’ is much more than a killer bread recipe. Having been a ‘bad seed’ and destroying everything in my path as a troubled young man, I finally found the path of acceptance, humility and teachability. It gives me the courage to fall down 7 times and get up 8.”
Dahl hosts a podcast, “Felony Inc.”, which runs live on Fridays at 10am Pacific on www.startupradionetwork.com and on any podcast app. Dave has candid conversations with former felons who’ve become honest, hard-working entrepreneurs. Having used adversity as a springboard, they have inspiring stories of personal transformation, grit, and startup experience. Previously-recorded episodes are also available. https://m.soundcloud.com/felonyincpodcast
Dave’s recently-reformed band, the Killer Granddaddies, is made up of fellow former knuckleheads. They play blues rock covers and originals.
Dahl’s overarching goal is to inspire and enable better people, businesses, and communities—in his words, “to help anyone who is willing to do the work to enjoy the journey like I have...to create their own success story.”
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