CLACKAMAS, Ore. (KOIN) — Dave Dahl’s life tells a tale about multiple second chances.
At another time, Dahl spent 15 years in-and-out of prison for drug offenses to robbery. There, he created a bread recipe, a creation that would make him a millionaire. Dave’s Killer Bread, an organic multi-grain bread made here in the Portland-Metro Area, filled the pantries of homes across America. He was making the most out of his second chance — that is until he would require another.
In 2013, Dahl had a mental breakdown, going on a rampage that ended with him ramming 2 Washington County squad cars. Officers tased and beat him before he was apprehended.
“It’s a mental crisis that happened here,” his attorney at the time, Stephen Houze, said. “It’s very apparent.”
Dahl was granted a conditional release — another second chance. And with it, he found a new passion.
Three years ago, Dave said he was at a downtown McMenamin’s when he found inspiration.
“I saw this huge mask … and I was blown away by that carving,” Dahl said.
Then, after Dave’s Killer Bread sold for $275 million in 2015, Dahl followed his passion, buying a piece of African art. One turned into hundreds; hundreds grew into thousands; thousands became one of the largest African art collection on the west coast.
“There’s a lot of passion that goes into these pieces,” Dahl said while standing in the collection’s massive warehouse in Clackamas. “And I feel it.”
Finding a new passion helped Dahl’s path to redemption.
“It helped me forget about the mistakes I’ve made, and just get focused on things that are outside of me,” Dahl said.
Dahl said proceeds from the pieces he sells help buy grain for villagers in Africa while also supporting Portland’s Central City Concern.
Dahl’s story is still being written, here in the place where we live. And though it’s had its breakdowns, he’s living life for the better, following his latest passion.
“You know, everybody wants a better life,” Dahl said, “and they can benefit from knowing my story.”