Retired USF Employee Turns Talents into Business Opportunity
Psalms Gourmet Brittle of Pinellas County
Psalms Mack retired from University of South Florida – St. Petersburg and wasn’t sure what to do next. Having enjoyed her baking talents his entire life, her son, Carlton Owens, encouraged her to share her skills with the public.
Owens encouraged his mother to take a leap of faith and launch a business doing what she loved, making brittle. In December 2019, Mack set up a kiosk in Tyrone Square Mall to test out her brittle business and to her surprise, she completely sold out. “He [Carlton] said to me ‘Mom, the people have spoken,’ and so I’ve been doing it since,” she said.
After testing out her business, Mack knew she had a product that people wanted but she needed help creating a business plan and a foundation for her company. “I reached out to the Florida SBDC at USF because someone who was already in business gave me a lot of information and pretty much took me down the path saying, ‘You know they have these services available for free,’” Mack said. “I called and they scheduled me to meet with Chrissy and we have been partners ever since.
“Chrissy helped me in terms of understanding the importance of being able to get ingredients that I needed at bulk prices. She helped me in terms of always questioning me about how much I was making every month and reporting it to her. She helped me with suggestions on where to go to increase my volume in sales in terms of marketing and she’s helped me just explore things that I was completely unaware of like how to package and to continuously improve that.”
With the help of the Florida SBDC at USF and their consultant, Chrissy Jaros, Psalms Gourmet Brittle went from selling in just a handful of retailers to selling in more than 50 brick and mortar locations.
“With the right vision and the right consultation, we expanded in e-commerce literally going from $200 month to now anywhere between $1,600 to $2,000 a month in sales. Also, most recently, our products are listed and sold on Walmart.com,” Owens said.
Throughout the years, Mack will continue to rely on her business consultant when she needs advice.
“I can always depend on knowing that when we set appointments, I know it’s going to always benefit me and my business,” Mack said. “In addition to all of that, she is always letting me know that my business can really go to places I’ve never been before.”
“As an entrepreneur, you are not getting all of what you need to be on the path to success if you do not have professional and proper guidance,” she added. “USF’s SBDC offers knowledgeable consultants, resources, and services, all you will ever need to grow and expand the footprint of your business. My consultant, Chrissy Jaros, demonstrates her commitment to the ultimate success of my business and I am very grateful for all of her support.”