Supporting Local Farmers and Products

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Early morning Friday May 10, 2013, Chatham University held a breakfast meeting for the Center of Women’s Entrepreneurship.  This event was based around the “business of food”.  Jennifer Flanagan, Josephine Oria, and Alice Julier spoke about various businesses and practices that they have been involved in dealing with the environment and food.  While all three women spoke about different topics, Josephine’s presentation stuck out the most.

Josephine spoke about some of her products she has created and how she went about doing it.  Her most successful product is her Dulce DeLeche liquor, which is currently sold in Whole Foods.  However, success did not come so easy.  She quickly realized it is not so easy to start up a business.

As she was creating Dulce DeLeche, made from her grandmother’s recipe, she was committed to using local products to support local farmers.  This process was not easy for her.  She went through PASA, Pennsylvania Association of Sustainable Agriculture, to help her find a farm for raw milk.  She explained that most milk used in many products found in grocery stores is made using powdered milk.  For her product, she needed raw milk that they would pasteurize themselves.  Josephine wanted to avoid using fructose and fillers and wanted something very pure and real, which could only be created using local products.

In addition to using local raw milk, she eventually worked her way into using glass jars and bottles that are locally made.  The only ingredient that is not from Pittsburgh is the Madagascar Vanilla Beans used for her liquor.  She is dedicated to embracing local products, which has ultimately led her to selling her products in Whole Foods.  She began this journey by selling her products at a lot of farmer’s markets, which she felt very difficult to dedicate herself to.

With time and commitment, her work has paid off.  She believes in maintaining a sustainable environment with selling and purchasing local products.  Josephine also revealed that her journey was very difficult and time consuming.  A lot of men would not give her the time of day because they did not believe in her product.  But, she never gave up and she made her dream come true.

Josephine believes that the best revenge is success.  Succeeding in a discouraging business has allowed her to continue to support local farmers and products from the success of her own products.  She is dedicated to maintaining a sustainable environment by supporting local companies and products.

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