Featured Success Stories

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Nefertari Muhammad’s mouthwatering pies won over judges’ taste buds in Entrepreneur Works’ 2015 and 2016 Taste of Success competitions. As a two-time winner in the competition’s dessert category, Nefertari said that her wins were “overwhelming” and motivated her to maintain the success of her business. Nefertari took Entrepreneur Works’ Business Skills Course in 2013 before stepping into the small business sphere in summer 2014, when she enrolled her children in an entrepreneurship program taught by Public Safety Initiative, Villanova University, and Wells Fargo. Nefertari saw this program as a platform for her daughters to reach their own financial freedom as young, business-savvy women, which it absolutely accomplished: Nefertari’s children were given seed money to put towards the business that would showcase their mother’s irresistible treats, Sister’s Original Supreme Pies. Nefertari enjoys the entrepreneurial freedom to make her own decisions and foster creativity. She is dedicated to strengthening the community with her tasty pies, as well as fueling her children’s work ethic, often reminding them to “plan the plan and work the plan.”

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Elizabette Andrade, creator of Cooking Alchemy, embraces the evolution she has experienced in running her eco-conscious business. Starting as an unknown test brand, Elizabette’s healthy food and healing products have excelled to the wholesale production sphere, and the entrepreneur herself has gained enough recognition to teach workshops as a chef educator/consultant, at The Free Library’s Center for Culinary Literacy and The Food Trust’s Farmers Market in summer 2015, to name a few. After her teaching job ended in 2010, Elizabette decided to turn one of her favorite and most ease-free pastimes—cooking—into a product that others could enjoy. Merging her passion for cooking and teaching, she developed Cooking Alchemy, formerly called Earth’s Elements, and in 2013, Elizabette competed in Entrepreneur Works’ annual Taste of Success event and won first place for her Yuba Croquette dish. She later learned more about Entrepreneur Works’ services, which she still considers a reliable source in the success of her small business. Today, among her Food Trust and other pop-up workshops, as a culinary literacy and education consultant, Elizabette works with other non-profit agencies in schools in underserved communities. Elizabette’s workshops and demos focus on changing thinking and behavior about fast and processed food and transforming simple ingredients into cost-effective and health conscious home-prepared meals. “The big picture is that I want to give people autonomy in their cooking and remind them that health is in their hands and in their kitchens,” Elizabette says. As Elizabette’s respected reputation earns her more and more well reception among customers, her teachings might take form in an even wider variety of learning, through more products and customized services to further Cooking Alchemy’s empowering mission.  

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For Debbie Dasani, cooking is a labor of love. After working in the corporate world for decades, she and her husband bought a convenience store in South Philadelphia in the Italian Market district in 2008. Customers soon began asking for Indian food, which Debbie provided at the annual Italian Market Festival on 9th street. With rave reviews, customers were soon asking Debbie where her restaurant was. Unsure of what to do, Debbie sought out Entrepreneur Works and took a business skills class. After working with the instructor and meeting other start-up business owners, Debbie was ready. She opened her own food truck, Samosa Deb LLC, in 2013, which is the only gourmet Indian food truck in Philadelphia, serving pakora, paneer, mango lassi, and of course, samosas! Debbie has hired two young entrepreneurs who want to open their own food trucks in the future, and now have the opportunity to learn from her. "Entrepreneur Works is like a business coach that will connect you with resources you need." Debbie’s journey has been a long one. Born in Guyana, she immigrated to the US at age 15. After living in New York City, she and her husband moved to Philadelphia in 1992. Debbie’s bachelor degree is in business, but she credits Entrepreneur Works with teaching her new things that were helpful in opening her food truck. Owning her own food truck gives Debbie independence and the ability to create her own dishes. Looking ahead, Debbie is eager to expand to wholesale and retail markets. Click here to hear how Entrepreneur Works helped client Deb Dasani (aka Samosa Deb) make her Indian food truck business more successful!

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When our client Alan Krawitz launched his first food truck – the now highly-popular Say Cheese – on Temple University’s campus in 2011, he couldn’t have foreseen that he would go from business-minded entrepreneur to successful local food guru in just a few years’ time. Along with fellow food-truck proprietors Carolyn Nguyen and Michael Sultan, owners of Taco Mundo and Street Food Philly, Alan realized their businesses would be stronger if they combined forces. With Alan’s business background and Mike and Carolyn’s combined 30+ years of culinary experience, the partners decided in 2014 to open a brick-and-mortar location that would give them some long-term sustainability and space to house the food trucks’ growing catering businesses. The idea for Revolution Taco was born. But it didn’t take long before Alan and his partners realized that opening a restaurant would be no easy task. Finding the right real estate agent and the right location was at least as important as having the right timing – and a little bit of luck. Ultimately, they found a centrally-located 900 square-foot space with room for 22 seats in Center City Philadelphia. Their next major challenge was finding access to capital. As Alan told us, “We didn’t have significant real estate assets – we didn’t come from much.” The partners were not eligible for a bank loan. After getting referred to Entrepreneur Works by a community partner organization, Alan and his partners were approved for a $50,000 loan. Revolution Taco opened in early 2016 to high acclaim. Be sure to check out Revolution Taco’s unique tacos, burritos and empanadas in global flavors at 2015 Walnut Street (just off Rittenhouse Square)!