February 21, 2024

Charisse McGill, the visionary proprietor and founding father of French Toast Bites and Lokal Artisan Meals, and government director of Farmers Market Coalition, died on Monday, January 15 at dwelling. She was 42.

Charisse is survived by her daughter Madison (Maddie) McGill, mom Tina Jackson, father Maurice Davidson, Aunt Janis Wallace, Uncle Tommy Wallace (husband and spouse), Aunt Anna Jackson, cousin Maurice Jackson, and a number of different cousins, relations and beloved associates.

Charisse was cherished by her household and associates, in addition to her French Toast Bites, Farmers’ Market, St. Joseph College and Temple College households. She was affectionately recognized to many in Philadelphia and throughout the nation as French Toast Bae. She was a mom, daughter, good friend, entrepreneur, visionary, group chief, trainer, mentor, media star, trendsetter, Philadelphia champion, trailblazer and true historical past maker.

Charisse has been lined domestically and nationally from shops from At this time Present, Forbes, Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Journal, Metro, Philadelphia Enterprise Journal, Eater, Thrillist, WDAS, NBC 10, 6ABC, Fox 29, CBS 3, PHL 17, Penn Stay, Principal Line At this time, Principal Line Occasions, Every day Native, Lansdale Reporter, Occasions Herald, Philadelphia Tribune, Philly Voice, WHYY, Billy Penn, Philadelphia Sunday SUN, KYW Newsradio, Wooder Ice, Decrease Bucks Occasions, Brewbound, GoPuff Journal, Technically.Philly, AfroTech, Ben FM, Black Tech, and lots of different shops domestically, regionally and nationally.

Charisse’s introduction into the native meals business got here by a suburban Philadelphia Farmers’ Market, the place she served because the market supervisor for seven seasons. Throughout that point, she grew the market to be second largest within the Philadelphia space and had the distinctive alternative to work with native impartial meals producers. The expertise led Charisse to begin Lokal Artisan Meals.

In 2018, Charisse opened her French Toast Bites stand in Philadelphia, and in 2020, grew to become the primary Black lady to personal and function a meals institution in Spruce Avenue Harbor Park and Cherry Avenue Pier on Penn’s Touchdown. Moreover, Charisse grew to become the primary Black lady in Pennsylvania with a signature craft beer, “French Toast Bites Ale,” which is out there by Yard’s Brewing Firm.

Extra merchandise she delivered to market embody French Toast Bites Spice, French Toast Bites Espresso in collaboration with Bean2Bean and French Toast Bites Gelato in collaboration with Cloud Cups.

Charisse was a key companion and introduced French Toast Bites to Philadelphia’s largest vacationer points of interest, together with Christmas Village in Philadelphia, Jap State Penitentiary (Halloween Nights), Cherry Avenue Pier, Spruce Avenue Harbor Park and Pennsylvania Conference Middle.

Highlights of a few of her many honors, accolades and talking engagements included:

  • SXSW Convention & Festivals | Austin, TX | March 2023
  • Enterprise Cafe | The Way forward for Espresso | Philadelphia, PA | Jan. 2023
  • B.PHL Competition| Philadelphia, PA | September 2022
  • Meals on Demand Convention | Las Vegas, NV | Could. 2022
  • 76ers “Purchase Black Program” Awardee, 2023, Philadelphia 76ers
  • IMPACT: Girl Entrepreneur of the Yr, 2021, United Approach of Larger Philadelphia and Southern NJ
  • Most Influential African Individuals, 2021, Philadelphia Tribune Newspaper
  • Finest FrenchToast, 2021, Metro Philly Newspaper
  • Philly: 50 Energy Ladies, 2021, Metro Philly Newspaper
  • Small Enterprise of the Yr, 2020, African American Chamber of Commerce of PA, NJ, DE

Charisse earned her bachelor of science diploma from Temple College’s Faculty of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Administration and her MBA in meals advertising and marketing at Saint Joseph’s College.

Earlier this 12 months, Charisse grew to become the primary Black lady to guide the nationwide group Farmers Market Coalition, the place she was engaged on behalf of 8,000+ farmers markets throughout America.

Charisse’s daughter Maddie was the very first investor in Lokal Artisan Meals and French Toast Bites, giving her Mother cash from lemonade gross sales to fund the creation of French Toast Spice: The Solely French Toast Seasoning You’ll Ever Want ™, in addition to the corporate’s enlargement into occasions, festivals, and a few of the area’s largest tourism Points of interest.

Charisse has now left the corporate to Maddie, who will function it with love and help from fast household and associates, the French Toast Bites employees and household, and group companions. French Toast Bites nonetheless plans to seem the massive conventions, occasions and festivals already deliberate for winter and spring.

Venues will stay open and partnerships will proceed underneath Maddie’s course and new management, all in reminiscence of her pricey mom.

Throughout this time the household asks for time, compassion and beauty they usually admire the entire love and help and condolences as they mourn this tragic loss.