Total loan: $7,000


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Clifton Heights, PA, United States / Food

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A loan helped me to pivot and overcome pandemic fueled challenges.

Charisse's story

I had the incredibly unique opportunity to manage the Lansdale Farmers' Market from 2013 to 2019 on a part-time basis. During that time, I was able to learn the open-air food market economy, and befriend local, high profile independent food producers. I witnessed food producers live their dream and make six figures (or more) under a 10x10 white tent. It was then, when I realized that I was on the wrong side of the tent. In January 2018, I made the decision to return to graduate school and obtain a MBA in Food Marketing from Saint Joseph's University. While most people return to school in hopes to obtainn a better job or to get a raise, I returned to school and then resigned from my day job. My last day as the Director of Special Events at Valley Forge Military Academy & College was on November 15, 2018. Two days later, I took a leap of faith and launched Lokal Artisan Foods (Home of the French Toast Bites) in the middle of Philadelphia at the annual outdoor Holiday Market. In the 45 days of that event, my gross sales were 3/4 of the annual salary that I left behind. The immediate success set the trajectory of the business for 2019.