Charisse’s introduction into the local food industry came through a suburban Philadelphia Farmers Market, where she served as the Market Manager for seven seasons. During that time she grew the market to be second largest in the Philadelphia area and had the unique opportunity to work with local independent food producers. The experience led Charisse to start Lokal Artisan Foods. In 2018, Charisse opened her French Toast Bites stand in Philadelphia, and in 2020, became the first Black woman to own and operate a food establishment in Spruce Street Harbor Park and Cherry Street Pier on Penn’s Landing. Additionally, Charisse became the first black woman in Pennsylvania with a signature craft beer, “French Toast Bites Ale.” Charisse earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Temple University’s School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management and in 2018, she enrolled in the MBA Food Marketing program at Saint Joseph’s University.
Current Focus: In her role as FMC’s Executive Director, Charisse intends to build upon efforts toward greater equity and access among farmers market operators, so that they in turn may foster a more equitable community and food system.
Charisse hails from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Lenapehoking Territory). She can be reached at email@example.com or at (888) 362-8177.