Watch CBS News

How Charisse McGill is empowering Philadelphia youth with French Toast Bites

How Charisse McGill left her "cushy, director-level job" to launch French Toast Bites
How Charisse McGill left her "cushy, director-level job" to launch French Toast Bites 03:47

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia Black business owners welcome the return of Shop Black Business Friday. It was part of a city council resolution declaring every Friday in December a day to support minority businesses.

Charisse McGill, owner of French Toast Bites, stopped by the CBS News Philadelphia studios Friday to share her success story.

"2018, I got started," McGill said. "I resigned from my cushy director-level job and launched French Toast Bites in the middle of the pandemic at the annual Philadelphia Christmas market."

Over the past five years, this small business has become a Philadelphia favorite.

Although McGill started with French toast street food, she soon launched a special spice, a Yards beer flavor and coffee.

Besides seeing the faces on customers' faces after taking a bite of these sweet treats, it comes second to employing the city's youth.

"I'm dedicated to hiring youth minority in underserved communities here in Philadelphia between the ages of 16 to 24," McGill said, "and I've been paying them a living wage before it was the thing to do."

As a Black business owner, she said it was important for her young staff to see the importance of representation.

"When I was in high school, I didn't have a Black boss," McGill said. "I didn't have a boss that was in Forbes."

As French Toast Bites becomes a household name, McGill ultimately hopes here success inspires others to dream big.

You can find French Toast Bites at the Christmas Village.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.