Black Wall Street PA

Harrisburg’s Foodie Entrepreneurs are Still Meeting the Demand

Harrisburg, Pa

Meeting customers’ needs by providing them with products and services on time is at the heart of every business. It’s what makes or breaks all companies, especially when it comes to small businesses. Harrisburg’s Mid-town area is no different. Since the onset of COVID, certain consumer products have been short on demand. Two local entrepreneurs of Harrisburg share with us how the supply and demand of products have affected their businesses.

Melina Manderola, who owns Manderolas, a healthy Mediterranean fusion of Italian and African cuisine located in Mid-town’s Broad Street Market, tells us about her cooking methods. Manderola is a wellness chef who specializes in customizing her menu. Melina blends her dishes to meet three essential cooking elements: physical, metabolically, and emotionally. She utilizes the Ayurveda principles of cooking which include preparing food balanced by nature and on the relationships of others.

Manderola uses international spices and herbs in her cooking and utilizes local markets for all her produce. Melina travels to New Jersey to pick up imported spices and herbs from Lebanon. Melina has been at the Broad Street Market since June of 2022. She indicated she has not been in business long enough to experience any significant shortage of supplies; however, she has been successful in tailoring her menu to meet what is readily available locally. Melina desires to give back to her community through workshops that teach those who may not have the resources to prepare healthy, inexpensive meals. Manderola’s philosophy is “food is power.”

Tammy owner of Just Baked Cakes and Pies.

Another of Harrisburg’s Mid-town food entrepreneurs, Tammy Worthy-Jones, the owner of Just Baked Cakes and Pies, prides herself on her signature cheesecakes. Since November 2019, the bakery has been in the family center of the Midtown Scholar bookstore. Ed and Nora Proctor previously owned the bakery since 2012. The Proctors were known for their pound cakes and sweet potato pies. Jones caters to that same group of customers.

Jones said several of their ingredients’ prices have tripled since the onset of the pandemic. She stated that her customers have remained faithful despite slight changes in prices. The bakery also makes custom cakes. Jones indicated that custom baked goods have helped keep the business profits stable.

The bakery has recently started Door Dash; this has helped with providing additional hours of availability since the bookstore has changed its hours. Jones indicated the change in hours had had some trickle-down effect on operations. Many local businesses have reduced their hours of operation or maintained virtual functions.

Despite these changes in how small businesses operate, our local entrepreneurs still bring their customers quality products. You can find Just Baked Cakes and Pies at 270 Verbeke Street, Harrisburg, PA 17102. Manderolas is located inside the Broad Street Market at 1233 North 3rd Street, Harrisburg, PA 17102.

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