Philadelphia's cheesecake lady, kombucha guy and more inspiring entrepreneurs

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Monday, August 10, 2020
Watch the full episode of FYI Philly from August 8, 2020
For some people work is a job. For others, it's a labor of love that defines them and those are the people we're focusing on this week.
In Elkins Park, Vanessa Jackson, aka the Cheesecake lady, has exquisite desserts that are in high demand.

Meet Philadelphia's Cheesecake Lady and her amazing desserts

It's hard to believe that someone known as 'The Cheesecake Lady' didn't even try cheesecake until she was in her thirties, but Vanessa Jackson has been making and selling miniature cheesecakes for going on twenty years now.

People line up around the block outside her Elkins Park outpost to try any of the 40 flavors she and her daughters make fresh and sell until they're gone.

With COVID-19 precautions, there's a limit of three customers in the store at a time and a limit of three cakes for each customer. She posts to Instagram when they're all sold out, so check out their page before you head over.

The Cheesecake Lady | Facebook Instagram

910 Township Line Road, Elkins Park, PA 19027


Philly's Jerk Chicken Man wants to transport your tastebuds to the islands

James Leggett went from corporate sales to cooking side of the road jerk chicken and the idea all started from business trips to Jamaica. The man known as "The Jerk Chicken Man" has crafted his own personal recipe incorporating the traditions of Jamaican Jerk with his own twist as a seasoned barbecue man.

He smokes all his meats and serves everything with a side of his engaging personality.

Side of the road Jerk Chicken | Facebook | Instagram

He's the guy you call if bees have nested in your home.

The Bee Man is your guy for hive removal, honey and beeswax candles

Allan Lattanzi is known as The Bee Man.

A general contractor, he's the guy you call if bees have nested in your home.

He'll cut them out and take them to his Yerkes Honey Farms, where he has more than 18 hives and colonies.

It all started when he began making honey to treat his seasonal allergies. From the bees work, he makes honey and 100 percent beeswax candles.

His flower-filled gardens are a certified Waystation for Monarch butterflies too. He takes orders in person or through his website and Facebook page.

Yerkes Honey Farms | Facebook

34 Henry Ave., Collegevile, Pa 19426


Jamaar Julal brews healthy and flavorful kombucha that's infused with flavors that honor his Jamaican heritage.

JamBru Kombucha: Brewing a New Business during a Pandemic

Jamaar Julal has been brewing kombucha on the side for a few years and selling it on his personal Instagram page.

But when he was furloughed from both his job at Poi Dog and The Restaurant School where he is an alum, he decided that the pandemic provided the perfect time to build his own business.

And his komboucha comes with a twist. He infuses it with flavors that honor his Jamaican heritage.

As a young Black man, attending private schools that were otherwise all white, Julal says he's struggled with depression and a sense of identity.

A tattoo on his arm reminds him that 'everything's good,' and that he is perfect just the way he is.

He launched a GoFundMe Page with the hopes of getting out of his Point Breeze home kitchen and into a commercial space then buying more equipment so that he can increase his output.

JamBrü Kombucha | Instagram | GoFundMe Page

Lumbrada in Wayne, Pennsylvania is known for its flavors and traditional Mexican cuisine.

Lumbrada Express is the place for Mexican spice and flavor

Lumbrada in Wayne is known for its flavors and traditional Mexican cuisine.

The restaurant business runs in owner Anselmo Torres' family, who opened Lumbrada with his brother in 2018. Lumbrada means bonfire in Spanish, and in its essence, it means bringing family together.

The Molcajete is the hottest item on the menu, which is a fajita served in a Volcanic Rock stone bowl. They're also known for a variety of unique dishes on the menu, like the Pina Loca, or the tropical fajita, where they carve out a pineapple and replace it with fajita mix, along with the pineapple chunks.

Another popular item is the table side guacamole, which can be made spicy, medium or mild.

Lumbrada is also spicing up their margaritas. They have tequila infused with Chipotle and are featuring a creamy Avocado Margarita.

Pre-Covid, Lumbrada held Salsa night every Saturday night, where a salsa instructor taught salsa, and people could dance the night away. They hope to bring it back when the restaurant fully opens.

Lumbrada | Facebook

821 W Lancaster Ave, Wayne, PA 19

Porcos was named the city's best hole in the wall and now it's on the move, setting up shop in some popular spots for beer.

Porcos: The City's Best Literal Hole-in-the-wall is on the move

Porcos and Small Oven Porchetteria opened in mid-December, just three months before COVID-19.

When customers could no longer walk in, shop the pastries and sandwiches and walk out, Chef/Owner Chad Durkin started serving out a side window, earning the shop a Philadelphia Magazine Best of Philly for literal hole-in-the-wall.

Porcos is now mobile too, taking up permanent residence in the food cart, dubbed Inda Cart, at both Garage South on East Passyunk and Garage North in Fishtown.

Garage is known for its large collection of canned beers but now you can get cocktails to-go too, and sit and chill under a sidewalk umbrella with your sandwich and some cookies and pastries from Porcos.

Porcos & Small Oven Porchetteria | Facebook | Instagram

Porcos Main

2204 Washington Avenue

Garage South | Garage IG
1231 East Passyunk Avenue

Porcos Garage North

Girard & Frankford Aves

Ooo la la! The lines are long and the food is good at this French bakery tucked away in South Philly.

Artisan Boulanger Patissier makes French baking an art

Ooh, la la! Take a look at this longstanding French bakery in the heart of South Philly.

'Artisan Boulangerie Patisserie' translates to exactly what they do there. Artisan means 'by hand', boulangerie means 'bread', and patisserie means 'pastry'.

Owners Amanda Eap and Andre Chin make authentic French breads and pastries that even Parisians rave about.

As James Beard nominees more than once, their house-baked breakfast and lunch items have lines forming first thing in the morning.

Artisan Boulanger Patissier | Facebook Instagram

1218 Mifflin Street, Philadelphia, PA 19148


A 65-foot projection screen will play an old favorite, "The Sandlot" during the August 15 fundraiser for Main Line Animal Rescue shelter.

PSPCA, MLAR host drive-in movie night

It's the fourth Annual Drive-In Movie Night with the Mainline Animal Rescue and the Pennsylvania SPCA on August 15th.

Executive Director of Philanthropy Allison Hough says this year they're hauling in a 45-foot-tall projector screen onto their 60-acre sprawling farm located in Chester County.

They will be showcasing "The Sandlot", a coming of age story of a young boy and his neighborhood friends.

You'll be able to hear the movie in your vehicle via the radio, or you can sit outside your vehicle in chairs or a comfy blanket, and hear the movie via loud speakers. You can pick up a Sandlot-inspired t-shirt, with all proceeds from the event going directly to the animals to aid in their life-saving missions.

With current COVID-19 conditions, the shelter is appointment-only.

Drive-In Movie Night August 15th

Mainline Animal Rescue| Facebook

1149 Pike Springs Rd, Chester Springs, PA 19425

Pennsylvania SPCA | Facebook

350 E Erie Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19134

More from this week's show

Live musical performances are popping up in City Hall's Dilworth Park. The free lunchtime concerts, courtesy of Center City District, feature local singers and songwriters. The next one is Monday, August 10th at 1pm.

Pop-Up in the Park | Music Pop-Ups

Dilworth Park

1 S 15th St (West Side of City Hall), Philadelphia, PA 19102

Christopher Jackson, who played George Washington to Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton in the blockbuster Broadway musical is hosting Christopher Jackson: Live from the West Side, Saturday, August 15 at 8pm.

You can access the virtual livestream concert with a $40 dollar donation that will benefit the Kimmel Cultural Campus' COVID-19 Relief Fund.

Christopher Jackson: Live from the West Side | Benefit Concert Tickets

The Academy of Natural Sciences has reopened with some creative reminders of the need to mask up and social distance, including masked bears on exhibit and social distancing dots with images of triceratops and other creatures.

There's a new exhibition to explore, Survival of the Slowest, about the evolutionary benefits of being slow. Lulu, the two-toed sloth is the star but there are other sluggish creatures to see and learn about too.

The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University | Pandemic Safety Protocols | Facebook

1900 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy, Philadelphia, PA 19103