Inspire, Empower, Encourage

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My name is Jason Mercado, Owner/Operator of Sweet Mission located in Anaheim,Ca.

In the Winter of 2011, I was laid off from my job of almost 12 years with a coffee company. To say I was suprised, is an understatement. As a result of being laid off,I lost my apartment and everything that it contained. My only option at that time was to live on the streets of Philadelphia.

During this time, a movement called” Occupy” was beginning in the city. Occupy would have everything that I needed to survive on the streets( clothing, food, sleeping bags,and a bunch of people to gather with) so I joined Occupy Philly. 

My thoughts turned towards what was next for me? How would I escape from being homeless and bounce back on my feet. I know that I needed a suitable place to live and I needed money to live and survive. 

The only conclusion that I could come up with was to put my talent to work for me and start a cookie business. Of course people told me I crazy because I had no place to live and had no money,so nobody would probably believe me or take me seriously.   

I then began doing research on how to start a business and try to find any community organzations that offered classes. I was fortunate enough to find several organizations that I could piece together to start my cookie business,even while I was still homeless. 

1st organzation(EntreprenuerWorks) awarded me a scholarship to participate in their 10 week Entreprenuer training course. 2nd organization (Saint John’s Hospice) offered me a bed in their Men’s shelter as a place to stay. 3rd organization (Friend’s Center) offered to help me by letting me bake in their large commerical kitchen as well as helping me to promote my cookie business. 4th organization(Philadelphia Lutheran Ministries) offered assistance with ongoing business memtoring and a small amount of seed money to start the business. 

June 1,2012 I launched my business called Just Cookies…which is now named Sweet Mission. Stay tuned for the rest of the story…

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