Fresh Start Foods
Jonathan Smith, Chairman

Merry Guben Philadelphia, PA

Merry Guben first learned classic culinary skills as an apprentice cook in a French restaurant. That opened the way to employment in an array of food-related enterprises. Her hands-on industry knowledge was gained in both back-of-house and front-of-house positions in restaurants, catering and retail. While associated with The Restaurant School, Merry taught cooking classes and ran culinary job training programs funded through the Private Industry Council and Public/Private Ventures. She developed curriculums focused on unemployed and underemployed adults and young high school dropouts. One of those programs, Beginner’s Luck, operated the kitchen and provided food service for a University of Pennsylvania residence hall. As a consultant, she administered and taught a business and management training program for supermarket workers, which led to the opening of SuperFresh Markets and O&O Markets. She wrote of that experience in a book called Future Bread, co-authored with historian Dennis Clark. Merry has also been a restaurant entrepreneur, having opened and operated an award-winning breakfast and lunch restaurant in Philadelphia. She later returned to law school and is now in private practice as a job rights lawyer in Philadelphia.

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