Hi! I'm Dane Carlson, and welcome to the Business Opportunities Weblog. I've been publishing this website, by myself, and sometimes with the help of others for over twelve years now. You'll notice two things about this site right away:

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Photo by ShardsOfBlue


For Jason Mercado, being laid off in the current recession couldn’t have come at a better time.

In less than a year, he has gone from laid off and homeless to a budding entrepreneur.

“I look at it as a blessing,” said Mercado, speaking of his erstwhile hard times and joblessness, as the big man towered over a Tribune reporter and photographer in his new cookie factory called “Just Cookies.” His new business is located at the Friend’s Meeting Center at 15th and Cherry streets in Philadelphia.

“Being laid off has given me a chance to focus on my dream,” said the 40-year-old former Jerseyite. He was once arrested and imprisoned for drug possession in Texas. Now, with those nine months behind him, he, at least, has been able move to a location near his family, though he is still down and out and homeless in Philadelphia at the city’s St. John’s Hospice, which provides temporary shelter for the city’s transients.

There is where the street chef landed after his layoff as a chef manager at Starbucks last July. Last week, with teens playing violins and other vendors selling their wares alongside his cookies, Mercado launched his new business. No longer just pie in the sky, “Just Cookies” from now on will be taking real orders from as many real clients as it can muster.

Even before the launch of his business on June 1, Mercado peddled his cookies on the streets to individuals and office clients. He has been known to receive orders of up to 24 dozen cookies at a time, reportedly delivering them on time and with satisfaction.

Photo by ShardsOfBlue.

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Originally posted by Dane Carlson on December 5, 2013 in Profiles.


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