During a time of pure chaos, turmoil and disbelief, you saw a rise of individuals who put everything they had on the line to make a huge change in their lives. Whether the choice was born from finally going after their dream or a “this is our last chance” kind of moment, the amount of entrepreneurs born from the pandemic in the Poconos is simply inspiring.
And we are totally here for it.
From new restaurants, non-profits, wineries and creative, the passionate spirit of the natural entrepreneur was flourishing throughout 2020. Here are some of our favorite fellow Pocono entrepreneurs who opened up shop and took on the pandemic head on.
LANI’S GRILLED CHEESE SHOP
Lani’s Grilled Cheese Shop is the newest edition to North Courtland Street in East Stroudsburg offering unique twists on a childhood comfort food favorite. Their menu includes soups, salads, mac and cheese, fries, desserts and of course grilled cheese. With a special Vegan menu, this new spot is a hit for tastebuds alike.
Chef Jelani Douglas had always dreamed about opening his own restaurant. After working 3-6 jobs at a time, grinding from 5:30am to 2am, and putting all of his time, energy and money into his dream, he was finally able to open Lani’s Grilled Cheese Shop in December of 2020.
Originally, the shop was supposed to open around March 2020, but due to the Pandemic, he decided to wait until the end of the year to open. But with his new sign hung and ready, he was already creating a buzz around town. Since the day Lani’s opened, they have been a huge success and even often give back to the community.
THE MISSION MAKERS
The Mission Makers is a non-profit organization assisting other non-profits on meeting their true mission as an organization. This includes performing needs assessments, developing strategies and training and executing the grant writing process.
The Mission Makers was established in 2020 by veteran husband and wife, Kim and Bob Yarnall. This dynamic duo is also highly involved in the local community as they are passionate about giving back and helping others. They started The Mission Makers after spending the last 23 years volunteering for and leading other local non-profit organizations. When it comes to non-profits, Kim and Bob are the experts.
Bob also serves as the Board Chair for the Lehigh Valley Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society while Kim is the Board Chair for the Pocono Family YMCA. Together, they serve as the Pocono Mountains Region Coordinators for Semper Fi & America’s Fund community athletes. These organizations capture the true essence of their passion: to help our wounded service members and their families; strengthen community programs for our youth and elderly; and find a cure for cancer.
CLEVER GIRL WINERY
Clever Girl Winery is one of the newest wineries to open up in Bangor, PA creating authentic hand-crafted wines, each named after a famous female personality. Offering tastings, flights, glasses, bottles, and a selection of tasty eats, they offer a little something for every wine lover.
Husband and wife, Don and Pamela Andreas, turned their basement cellar into a licensed, commercial wine production facility in July of 2019 and opened their now thriving tasting room in September of 2020. While first dreaming of selling their wines at festivals and larger events, the pandemic persuaded them to open up a tasting room, which was something they weren’t planning to do until 3-4 years from now.
Clever Girl now offers 14 different unique wines including sweet, semi-sweet, semi-dry and dry blends along with creative sangrias and local brews. If you’re wine tasting in the Poconos, it would be clever to make sure Clever Girl is on your list.
Careiginal Designs is a female-forward design and marketing agency based in East Stroudsburg specializing in graphic design, logo design, website design and development, social media marketing, merchandise design, marketing strategy development, illustrations, photography and videography. If you need something created, they can make it happen.
Started by Carolyn Walker in September of 2020, this now team of two local creatives hit the ground running and have had the pleasure of working with brands ranging from local restaurants and small businesses to a multi-million dollar healthcare company in New York to even celebrity-integrated brands.
We pride ourselves on our personalized approach to design and marketing. We are passionate about representing each brand we work with as if it were our own and absolutely adore bringing our clients visions to life. Whether that be for their personal brand, business or even wedding invitations.
It takes a lot of heart, passion and dedication to start a business. But, to start a business during a time where everyone was terrified of what could happen, that is the type of person who will do whatever it takes to make their dreams come true. We are in your corner and cannot wait to continue to watch you succeed.
Who is another new entrepreneur who you see thriving in the Poconos? Comment below so we can go check them out too!