060: Jamie Shanker-Passero of Temple SBDC and Philly Food Adventures

Self Made Strategies Episode 060 with Jamie Shanker-Passero, of Temple University’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and Founder of Philly Food Adventures
About Jamie Shanker-Passero

(Before we dive into Jamie’s background) You can find more information about Temple University’s Small Business Development Center here: https://www.fox.temple.edu/institutes-and-centers/small-business-development-center/

Jamie serves as the Associate Director for Temple’s SBDC, overseeing the training, programs, workshops, incubator and marketing. Outside of the SBDC, Jamie has run Philly Food Adventures (http://www.phillyfoodadventures.com/), a Chinatown food tour company since 2014. Prior to joining the SBDC, Jamie managed a women’s business center in Camden, New Jersey.

Jamie also worked with small businesses as the development director of the Philadelphia mobile food association and as the commercial Carter revitalization and business association manager from Mount airy USA community development corporation. That’s a mouthful. She is an attorney and graduate of Temple University’s Beasley School of Law where she focused on nonprofit law.


On today’s episode we will:

  • Get to know Jamie and hear about her work with small businesses
  • Discuss great resources that you should consider using for your business
  • Hear about Jamie’s own entrepreneurial journey
  • Services that Temple’s SBDC provides to startups (and likely an SBDC in your area does the same) and also how you can become a member of the SBDC
  • Types of business courses can people take if they come to the SBDC, and the types of workshops do you offer through the SBDC
  • The kinds of grants and loans that small businesses may qualify foor
  • We also discuss Jamie’s Food Adventures business
  • And so much more!

The Self Made Strategies Hustle Story is a SoftStix Productions jawn.  Tony Lopes produced, hosted, and edited this episode.  This episode was recorded on location at Indy Hall (www.indyhall.org).  Self Made Strategies is sponsored by Lopes Law LLC (www.LopesLawLLC.com).

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Tony Lopes: [00:00:23] Welcome to a brand new episode of the self-made strategies podcast. I’m your host Tony Lopes, and with us today is Jamie Shanker-Passero. Jamie serves as the associate director for temple university’s small business development center, but Jamie is also an entrepreneur who runs her own business, and that’s Philly food adventures.

So we’re going to get to know Jamie today. We’re going to hear a lot about Temple’s SBDC. And then we’re going to hear about Jamie’s own experience as an entrepreneur and her Philly food adventures. I’m a bit of a self proclaimed amateur foodie, so this should be fun. If nothing else, we’ll get some restaurant tips,

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:00:58] Right? Yeah.

Tony Lopes: [00:00:59] Jamie serves as the associate director for the SBDC, overseeing the training programs, workshops, incubator and marketing outside of the SBDC. Jamie has run Philly food adventures at Chinatown food tour company since 2014. Prior to joining the SBDC, Jamie managed a women’s business center in Camden, New Jersey.

Jamie also worked with small businesses as the development director of the Philadelphia mobile food association and as the commercial Carter revitalization and business association manager from Mount airy USA community development corporation. That’s a mouthful. She is an attorney and graduate of temple university’s Beasley school of law where she focused on nonprofit law.

She received a BA in social justice from Franklin and Marshall college. That’s a lot.

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:01:48] Yeah. Those things. Yeah. Those are the things.

Tony Lopes: [00:02:02] yeah, I guess I,I love it. I mean, you really have such a unique and very varied background, which personally I like. I empathize with that. Um, well I should say us lawyers, but not typical lawyers.

What’s the best way to describe that?

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:02:09] Reformed?

Tony Lopes: [00:02:10] Reformed. I like that. I like that “reformed lawyers.” I’m going to start stealing that and using that. So tell us a little bit about how you got involved in the SBDC and then we’ll come back and we’ll talk about Philly food adventures and how that all got started. But what took you from law school to, I don’t want to practice law. I’d rather go help small businesses.

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:02:30] Yeah. It’s been a journey. Well, I went to law school to, uh, to do nonprofit law, so to help people, um, prior to law school, when I was making a decision about. How I wanted to continue my education. There were a lot less graduate programs, and there are now, there are so many interesting creative graduate programs for people who are looking to be in, uh, in the, in the community sector.

Um, but I didn’t, I didn’t know about those and a lot of them didn’t exist. So I was working for a nonprofit law office running, uh, running a new program. They’re really enjoying it, loving the work, and figured while. I want to do more help, more people. Law school makes sense. So I didn’t go to law school because I didn’t know what I wanted to do.

I did know, um, and I thought that that was the path to do it. And then I soon realized that it just wasn’t as creative for me as I wanted it to be. A lot of red tape, a lot of waiting. Um, I like to act a little quicker when I’m helping people. So, uh. Did not go in that direction. Even though I graduated, did take the bar, did pass it, but that was mostly it.

I had a short fellowship and, uh, doing nonprofit health law and then, uh, ended up finding myself helping the mobile food association while they were establishing, and that was because while in law school, I did a paper on them and food truck regulation. So I got to know them. So yeah, it all comes back to food, food, and helping people.

That’s just me in a nutshell. So yeah, so very cool.

Tony Lopes: [00:04:07] Now, how about the food truck part of that? What was that sort of like and what did you learn from that experience?

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:04:15] Well, with food truck owners, you see entrepreneurs who are, many of them. This is their first, this is their first kickoff at entrepreneurship.

So there’s a lot, there’s a big learning curve. It is very hard work. Um, so I think that I got a lot of insight without even realizing it, and without even realizing that my next career moves would relate to entrepreneurship. But I got a lot of the background about what it takes, especially early on. Very cool.

Tony Lopes: [00:04:42] So digging into the SBDC a little bit, what are some of the things that the SBDC provides to startups and also how can one become a member of the SBDC?

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:04:53] Sure. So no members, we are open to the public. Um, and uh, although we are affiliated with temple. Um, they, they are our hosts and the Fox business school.

Uh, we are hosted by them as well. Uh, we are open to the community. So you don’t need any temple affiliation to work with us,

Tony Lopes: [00:05:10] although it doesn’t hurt being a former alum.

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:05:13] Yeah. We certainly, we have current students who work with us. We have alumni, although there are other programs for entrepreneurial students that already exist within box.


Tony Lopes: [00:05:23] Cool. So, okay, so you’re a startup owner. Um, at what level would you say you’ve kind of graduated beyond help from the SBDC? Or is it businesses of any size?

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:05:32] It’s businesses that fit within the SBAs definition of a small business, which depends on the industry, but essentially we can work with you for a years.

Awesome. On on different pieces, but can work with you. While you’re a startup, it can work with you while you’re growing and we can work with you on succession planning. Very cool.

Tony Lopes: [00:05:50] Very, very cool. And I like that part of it. The succession planning, I think there is a huge gap in terms of people not thinking about exit strategies or what happens if one of us predeceases another member or something along those lines.

But, um, okay, so. Through the SBDC. You can meet with consultants, you can register for workshops, you can take business courses, and you can also be a part of the incubator. So let’s kind of pull each one of those apart. What kind of consulting help can you get from the SBDC?

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:06:20] So the consulting side, um, we work with existing businesses or businesses who are Preventure that can come to us with something in writing.

Uh, so if not a business plan, something close to a business plan or something that our consultants can work with. Um, and then it’s really, regardless of industry and the, our consultants will focus in on their growth goals. We have some specific specializations, uh, for example, technology, commercialization, marketing and procurement, which is, which is huge, especially in a city like Philadelphia, where you have not only.

Um, opportunities to work with the local government, but as in meds that need, need people to fulfill their contracts. And it is challenging for small businesses to get into that. So having somebody. Sit down with you and talk through the RFP process, the capability statement process. It’s so valuable. So we have someone who specializes in that and we also do, um, some, some trainings on that as well.

Tony Lopes: [00:07:22] Very cool. And do you, um, restrict any type of business aside from businesses that fall outside of the SBAs definition of a small business?

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:07:32] Um, yes. So. The SBA also does not fund us to work with nonprofits since. Really the, the whole, the whole reason that we’re fun, we’re not the whole grades, but the SBA funds us to help small businesses start and grow so that these businesses start and grow and pay tax dollars back to the government.

So that’s how that circle works. So in terms of nonprofits, we can’t really assist there. Um, they can attend our workshops if they want and we’ll usually refer them elsewhere. And we are also restricted to certain vice businesses at the SBA would not want us to work with.

Tony Lopes: [00:08:07] Interesting. Um, but in terms of service businesses or different types of industries, pretty much as long as you’re a for profit and you’re not a “vice business,” you should be okay.

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:08:17] Definitely. We have so many service businesses, tons of different products.

Tony Lopes: [00:08:21] Very wide range. Very interesting. Okay. So what types of business courses can people take if they come to the SBDC?

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:08:28] So our two signature courses that we have had for decades, our, our business planning class, that’s a 10 week class that we do three times a year where we go through the business plan.

Uh, we’ve recently rebranded, rebooted, so that’s really exciting and brought it in house. Um, yeah, I, I’m just, I’m excited for that curriculum, just modernize it a bit. And then we also have our construction management certificate series that we have been running for 32 years. Wow. Yeah. Wow.

Tony Lopes: [00:08:57] Very interesting.

So if you’re a construction company on  hilarious. So if you’re a construction company owner, it might be a good idea to take that course just to make sure that you’re on the right track and running a solid business.

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:09:10] Yeah. So we, we certainly see current owners of construction companies, but we also see people who are in the industry who know it and want to take over and, and own their own company.

So they want those managerial skills. We’re not going to teach them how to hammer. They already know that. But this is the other side. This is the leadership, the ownership.

Tony Lopes: [00:09:29] That’s awesome. Let’s go backwards a little bit. What pieces of the puzzle have to be in place? I heard you say business plan, obviously, so you have to have some structure.

Obviously coming in you can’t be like, Oh, I have an idea for whatever and nothing on paper.

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:09:45] Right. To meet with our consultants. Correct.

Tony Lopes: [00:11:18] Oh, great. Very cool. Okay, and so what types of workshops do you offer through the SBDC?

Sorry, I’m just going through, I’m going incrementally.

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:11:28] So the workshops, that’s where I have a lot of my fun. That’s my side of it. With the, with the training department, we do at least two, no cost workshops a month. Usually more than that. We try to cover a lot because we understand that our clients have a lot of different range of knowledge.

So we need some introductory courses. We need some more higher level courses. We bring in experts . And we typically do one event that’s during lunchtime, that’s during lunchtime and one event that’s in the evening, per month. So we have our lunch and learns. We have our temple business round tables in the evening.

Um, and we’ve brought in experts on cybersecurity, on hiring, on. We had regulations. Uh, we, the census. So we really, we try and cover a lot.

Tony Lopes: [00:12:15] Oh, that’s great. Really, really cool. Um, and finally, the incubator. So tell us about the incubator, what it is for those who don’t know and how you can become a part of that.

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:12:25] So in our building, we have cubicle space and coworking space, and obviously, I mean Berlin one now, but there are lots of these type of facilities across the city. Um, so we see ours is more of a program for businesses who are at a place where they really want to grow and they want to take advantage of meeting with a consultant regularly.

That’s a good fit for us. Um, so they’re, they’re, they’re able to take advantage of our space, um, which is. Fairly below market, I will say, but we don’t want people in there just for that reason. It’s really, it’s really a place to grow and we put a three year cap on it because we need to do our jobs and get you ready to pay market market.

Right, right, right,

Tony Lopes: [00:13:07] right. Yeah. Very interesting. That’s cool. And so are there limitations in terms of. Amount of registrants for different parts of this. How many people can you take on when you’re doing a workshop, for example, or, uh, how many individuals can show up and register for a business course?

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:13:25] With our courses, we usually stick between 15 to 30. Um, with our workshops. One. Part of one benefit of being part of temple university is we have access to a lot of different spaces, right? So if our trading room can accommodate, there will be a space on count on campus that can, Oh, very cool.

Tony Lopes: [00:13:45] Okay. So you get to use other facilities aside from Temple’s facilities?

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:13:49] Well, within, so with an interval, right. So we have our building, which is two blocks off of campus, which I like because it’s a little bit more accessible. Sometimes college campuses can be confusing. I mean, I even went to temple and sometimes I. Don’t know where a building is. Not sometimes, often. So we are too.

We are two blocks off of campus, which is nice. But we, we do a lot of events on Temple’s campus, but also with those evening events that I mentioned, we really try to get out there in the community and do events and other spaces, whether it’s another nonprofit or at a, we work. Um, but we’ve been, we’ve been trying to do a lot more of that to help get the word out and also just be as accessible as possible.

Tony Lopes: [00:14:31] Right. And so being a part of the SBDC as you have been, I’m sure you have a lot of resources throughout the city that outside of the SBDC and temple that you can connect people with. Yeah.

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:14:45] Yeah. So we, we, we love doing that and I love to be able to do that, especially with our round table events. When we, we bring in different panelists, um, who are experts in their industries, uh, that become resources and connections for our businesses.

I’d always try and chime in, um. With additional ones. If those resources aren’t present with, sometimes they are. That’s those are the people that we tend to invite or are those, uh, those good resource partners that businesses really need to know. Uh, we don’t want anything to be a secret. We don’t want to be a secret.

We don’t want the SBDC to be a secret. We hear that sometimes, Oh, I wish I would’ve known about you and then maybe I wouldn’t have done this, this, and this. We want to, we want to help be there and avoid mistakes. Prevent, prevent mistakes from happening. Um, so the department of commerce, they are a great resource to us.

They have business service representatives, um, and they can, and this, this is, this is true of Philadelphia and probably true in other cities as well. And that goes for a lot of the resources that, um, that I’ll mention. Uh, so the, the business service representatives can help connect you to city agencies.

So if you’re struggling with. With Ella and I, um, you know, you’re struggling with health, things like that. They were there. They’re a really good resource to help, um, smooth out that connection.

Tony Lopes: [00:16:03] Great. Any others?

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:16:05] A lot. Go for it. Yeah, I can do it. Um, merchant’s fund, uh, when, well, let me backtrack and talk about the G word.

When businesses come in and they say, Hey, you know, but any grants for small businesses, I say, Hey, wait a minute. Okay. Grants are foreign. Nonprofits like us, right? Grants for small businesses are very small, a very hard to find, a very rare, and they can be specific to certain industries like art or technology.

So you’re basing your business and your business plan around the idea that you’re going to get a grant should probably go back to the drawing board. Okay. Just going to say that. However, the merchant’s fund is a resource that does have grants for businesses who meet certain eligibility requirements. So that’s a good one to know about.

Uh, the Hebrew loan society also has some, uh, zero interest loans. That’s nice. Really nice. Yeah. Um, another, another resource that I love and, um, I was getting a lot of questions about that. I can’t always answer.  the specifics, but there is a program with Philadelphia works, the on the job training program.

So if you are looking to hire and you are willing to train, um, and you hire somebody who is, uh, was, was receiving some sort of public assistance. So it could be unemployment, um, cause snap benefits, you can get. Reimbursement other salary up to 50% for a few months while you are training them. Wow. Yeah.

Tony Lopes: [00:17:44] So it’s an amazing,

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:17:45] yes.

Amazing. Good secret. Yeah. Yeah. So the idea, I mean, it’s win-win. You’re helping somebody become employed, you’re helping someone become more employable, and you as a small business owner at your help, that gap, um, of, of saying, you know, I need to hire someone, but. I just don’t have it yet. Right. So those, it gives you a little bit of a buffer with the idea of being that you will keep that person on, can keep doing this over and over.

They will ding you for that. Yeah. But the idea is you would keep this person on, well, not

Tony Lopes: [00:18:11] only that, but it also greatly incentivizes small business owners to invest in these employees because essentially, even though they have to train, as you said. They’re kind of getting that benefit back from the government anyways, cause you’re getting half off of the salary and that’s going to significantly reduce the cost.

And you might have to train someone anyways.

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:18:31] Yeah.

Tony Lopes: [00:18:32] Yeah. Very cool. So what else? What else you got?

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:18:37] Oh my goodness. Um, locally, those are some of my favorites, to be honest. Um, those were great. Yeah. Not better. Yeah. Another one I learned about recently is a. It’s not, not necessarily Philadelphia. I think it’s statewide, but EMAP so you can, uh, con invite. I’m not gonna, I’m not gonna go into what they stand for, but it’s essentially a resource that you can contact to make sure that your business is in compliance with environmental regulations without getting.

Your self in trouble in a sense, or like an intermediary then is looking to help you. So instead of going about your business, you know, a missions, whatever it is that that’s happening, and then getting fined for it later on, you can do, you can, you can contact them. And, and, uh. Find out are you doing things the way you’re supposed to be doing them?

That’s a recent one that I learned about that. It’s pretty cool.

Tony Lopes: [00:19:33] Very, very cool. So are you still going sort of back, first of all, let me recap all of those resources that you talked about in case the listeners want to kind of re jot them down or they were racing to keep up. Um, so there are a lot of business resources that they can go through the department of commerce right.

Then you have merchants funds, which are not grants, but they’re technically grants for small businesses if you qualify.

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:19:54] Yeah, it is basically a local grant.

Tony Lopes: [00:19:59] Right? And then there’s the Hebrew loan society, which can, you can get a 0%. Interest or a low interest rate loan from them. Um, and I’m sure there are certain application standards that you have to fulfill and all of those things.

But then there’s also Philadelphia works, which is that service that you mentioned, that if you’re willing to hire and train individuals. Who may be are receiving unemployment benefits or are kind of in between jobs, so to speak. Um, you can get reimbursement of up to 50% of your salary if you’re hiring those individuals.

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:20:30] Going back to commerce, I should mention that they do have some specific, not, not only do they have these, his representative that can help you, but they have a few programs for brick and mortars. Um, so they have the in store forgivable loan program, which helps you purchase. Equipment for inside your location.

So maybe you need a, like a stove or something like that. They can help with that. And there’s also, um, the, the storefront improvement program, which helps you make. Uh, improvements to your storefront. So, you know, just if you wanna update your signage, paint, things like that, um, you do have to be in an eligible corridor for both of those programs.

And there is an application process, but it’s definitely something to look into. Um, and I believe there are some, there’s some newer programs with commerce. Um, if you are doing some healthy food. Business. So the healthy food initiative there, there’s that. There’s some other I forgivable loan programs there, I believe.

Tony Lopes: [00:21:30] Very interesting. With all of these resources that we mentioned, and EMAP is another one that you mentioned for environmental compliance. With all of these resources that you mentioned, do you assist. Individuals who are looking to get involved with these resources, or do you just simply connect them maybe with someone over there?

What’s usually the best way for them to get involved? Or should they just Google it and go for it themselves?

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:21:52] I think it depends. It depends on what kind of assistance they might need. Um, since we have relationships, we could always help push things along, make sure that their applications are in order. I mean, if there’s an application for anything, we’re happy to review it.

Whether it is a. Grant or you know, something similar like an in store application. Those are things that it would be great to bring to our office for review.

Tony Lopes: [00:22:17] Very cool. Yeah. Um, and that can just be like a fresh start. Even if they’re not already in the SBDC, they can reach out to you and you would point them in the right direction and maybe helping them with the application.

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:22:27] Yeah. And just to mention that, the way to get in touch with, um, if you’re, if you’re looking for connecting with our consulting team, the way is really through our website. We have an online portal. We do ask you a few questions once you’re in your end and then, and then anything is easy after that.

Tony Lopes: [00:22:42] And the easiest way might be to just Google.

Temple SBDC.

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:22:46] That is the easiest way. Since we are hosted by Fox within temple, the URL is quite long.

Tony Lopes: [00:22:54] temple.edu forward slash institutes hyphen and hyphen centers, forward slash small hyphen business, hyphen development, hyphen center.

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:23:05] So that is not when I’m on the phone with someone directing, directing them to their website, that is not what I give out and say, Hey.

Google apps will be the first thing that comes up. Sample SBDC acids and small B as in business, D as in development, C as in center.

Tony Lopes: [00:23:20] I mean, I will, um, we’ll include a link in the show notes. So if anyone’s listening to this and they want to reach out, we’ll put a link right to the website to make it super easy.

Just go back to the show notes. Wherever you listen to our show, you’ll see the link there. Click. Scroll, copy, paste, et cetera. Now, shifting sorta towards starting an actual business or running an actual business, what are your, some of your best practices and necessary steps for someone who has an idea, wants to transition from their career and start their own business?

Maybe it’s even the side hustle. What are your sort of, what’s your checklist that you have to go through?

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:23:55] I think there are, there is really a checklist of questions that you should ask yourself. Um, the first I think is thinking about, do you have experience in this industry, specifically managerial experience?

If you like coffee and you want to run a coffee shop, there are a lot of subtleties that you are not going to know. So my advice would say. It would be go work for a coffee shop, try and get a position there. Try and do, I mean, it’s kind of like espionage, but you really need that foundation. We as a center can help you with the structure of a business plan, but we rely on the business owners to come with that industry knowledge.

So that’s number one. Think about your credit score. It is never too early to be thinking about that. That’s going to be important. Your PR, yes, your personal credit score will be important as a business owner. So start thinking about that now. Know what it is. Know if you need to improve it. Um, think about, think about how you work best.

You know, think about. Uh, what motivates you? Uh, if you have a supportive environment that will allow you to dedicate yourself to this for quite some time. Um, and do you have savings to make that happen? Are you willing to invest not only time, but money in yourself? It’ll be difficult to look for in investors, for, for, for bankers if you’re not putting in, uh, putting in some of that yourself skin in the game.

Right? Thanks. Want to see that too? Of course. Um. So I think those are all some important things that you really need to think about. And then you do need to sit down and write that business plan. It might be a, it might be a process that not everybody enjoys, but it’s not only the having the business plan, but it’s the writing it, the process, the research.

That is so crucial because that’s, that’s, that’s a test of your, of the feasibility of your business. We don’t want people rushing in to see you investing their time and money into a business that is not going to really make sense. And that comes with a business plan.

Tony Lopes: [00:25:52] Yeah, that makes sense. And then after that, are there sort of professionals that you would put high on the list?

Obviously legal is important to lawyers sitting in the room. We’d argue for that. I think. Aside from that, are there other professionals that people should contact or is it kind of a wait until you need them? What’s your advice.

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:26:08] That is a really good question. There are so many things that you can DIY as a business owner, but there are a few that you shouldn’t, and I do think accounting is one of them.

I think it’s pretty important to have an accountant on the team. Um, it’s good to understand how QuickBooks works as a business owner. It’s, it’s good. It’s a good to have a background of really. Everything. Um, and that’s part of the reason why we bring in the experts that we do. It’s to help you become more educated.

It’s not necessarily so you do it all yourself, but it’s so that you can hire somebody that you know is doing the right thing and that you can communicate. Um, with, and just have that basic understanding. Yeah. Very

Tony Lopes: [00:26:48] cool. And so how about higher level businesses, a little bit more sophisticated, those that are still small businesses and coming to you for support?

What are some of the main sort of frequently asked questions that you’re seeing and maybe a best practice or a solution that you’ve found works really

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:27:02] well. Um, I think HR is probably, um, an area that comes up, especially as businesses are growing, growing, and hiring before there’s an employee manual in place can be tricky.

Um, so I think that’s one area to think about and to get. Get into gear appropriately before things grow too fast. Um, and that, that, that’s with many things. That’s with your accounting systems, that’s, it’s really systems. Getting those in place, early

Tony Lopes: [00:27:35] standard operating procedures, so to speak. Kind of looking at what your.

Redoing on a regular basis, and if it’s something that you’re doing multiple times, maybe you should sit down and write down a process for that. That’s repeatable. Therefore, making your business scalable. Right.

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:27:50] Definitely.

Tony Lopes: [00:27:50] Yeah. And then from an employment perspective, when you’re looking at those, are you recommending that they go and contact an attorney or are you providing support in terms of developing an employee manual and all those things.

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:28:02] So we, we actually did have, um, an HR expert that, uh, that retired recently, but we do recommend, um. Yeah. I’m not going to add, there’s on a, there’s not a, a blanket answer because it depends on the, the capability of the entrepreneur. Um, if this is something that you have a lot of familiarity with, then maybe that is something that you can do on your own.

Or maybe there are some industry specific manuals that you could actually purchase and alter to your liking. Um, but maybe with the. More creative business. You might have to hire an HR team to help work on that with you.

Tony Lopes: [00:28:39] Okay, cool. All right. Now let’s shift to your business. You’ve been an entrepreneur for quite a while now.

You run Philly food adventures, which is really cool. Tell us about that. How did you get started in that? What drew you to Philly? Food adventures aside from loving food, or maybe that was, that was it. You loved food so much. You wanted to share it with everybody else, but.

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:28:58] I do love food that much that I want to share with everybody else.

That is very, very, very, very true. Um, I’ve been writing about food since as long as I could. Right. Um, even for the high school newspaper, I had a food review column. Um, and, uh, when I moved to Philadelphia. For law school I was writing, um, quite regularly on a blog, really helped me get to know the city, uh, fall in love with the city.

And I think that blogging as a business. It’s, it’s tricky. And it wasn’t one that I wanted to keep investing in terms of the time that it actually now takes. It’s different. It’s a, it’s a different world, the blogging world now than it was a bit ago. So I thought about, um, and this is also a time where after law school or thinking about what I wanted to do and transitioning, and I thought about.

Ways that I could continue to connect people to food and maybe make some more money out of it. Um, and, uh, that they, yeah, I thought maybe maybe people would want to come out with me and explore.

Tony Lopes: [00:30:11] Yeah. That’s cool. So walk us through what a Philly food adventure is like.

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:30:17] We go to about five or six different places.

Uh, we do some street snacking and we do a sit down. We, it’s pretty intimate. You know, I can have a group and it’s just a family and mean, and we just, we really get to know each other. It’s very special. Um, but yeah, so we eat in the street. Uh, we have our sit down where we talk a little bit more. We talk a bit about development of Chinatowns in general and about our Chinatown and its history, but a lot of it is about, um, I’m not saying that I’m some expert in Chinese food, but I’m really good at ordering and knowing what to order.

And if you think about businesses I existing to, to solve a problem. So the problem that I was solving was people being intimidated by accessing. The S the the amazing resource that is Philadelphia is trying to town. So we have. Very good restaurants and we have people kind of knowing that, but maybe being scared to tap into it.

So that is a problem that I’m solving with my business.

Tony Lopes: [00:31:18] Very cool. Very, very cool. So how long does a typical food adventure last, or is it kind of customizable?

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:31:24] Two hours.

Tony Lopes: [00:31:25] About two hours. Very cool. Do you have regular go to places or is each one completely different?

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:31:31] I do have GoTo places. Um. And I kind of hold up some fingers and I know what that means, which is fun.

It’s taken a few years to, it took a few years for the owners to get to know me and understand what I was doing and. Yeah, it’s, it’s fun. I got, I got a necklace recently from one of my restaurant ORs for Chinese new year, but I will say something that is important to me on so many levels. A, because I work for in small business development, um, and B, as a consumer of food and trying to town, it’s really important to me that I am paying these restaurants.

I’m not getting kickbacks. I’m tipping them because I want them to succeed. As, as somebody who cares about small businesses, and I also want them to succeed as someone who wants to continue to eat their food. So that’s the more selfish reason, but I, yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s one of my. Unique value propositions, I would say in the food tour world.

Very gallery.

Tony Lopes: [00:32:27] Very cool. So your website is Philly food adventures, all one word.com. And when you jump onto your site, you’ve got your Chinatown food tours. You got what I’m eating, AKA your blog. And uh, then you have Midtown lunch, Philly. What’s that?

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:32:44] Oh, okay. So yeah, so the blog, again, it’s, I will be honest, I’m not updating that anymore.

Midtown lunch Philly is, uh, what I was doing when I first moved to Philly. So that’s a, it’s like an archive, but it’s still a good, honestly, I was looking at it a week ago and I was like, Oh man, that, that, that was a good meal. And that’s, that’s a funny joke that I made to myself up.

Tony Lopes: [00:33:08] That’s awesome. All right, cool.

And then you have below that, Hey, are you hungry for an adventure food writer guide or lawyer? So that’s about you,

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:33:16] right? Yeah. Those are all links actually. So the thing that says lawyer question Mark goes to my LinkedIn.

Tony Lopes: [00:33:21] Very cool. Okay, cool. Awesome. So do you miss being an attorney at

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:33:24] all? Does it seem like, I do

Tony Lopes: [00:33:26] know it

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:33:26] does,

Tony Lopes: [00:33:28] but you’re preaching to the converted.

I mean, I still practice law, so I do work with, um, I have my own firm now though, but, and I’m taking a different approach, or at least I’m convincing myself that I am. I’m kidding. I am taking a different approach, but, um. Yeah. I think the legal industry, you’d probably agree, needs some revamping pretty seriously.

What do you think, what are your thoughts?

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:33:49] Um, I think my thoughts would be less on the industry. Maybe more about the institution of law school. You know, I’ve got some thoughts on that. Feel free to share. I’m not going to stop you. It’s a financial institution and it’s just, it’s just built to turn people out.


Tony Lopes: [00:34:04] for lots of money,

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:34:05] lots of money, and people are graduating that maybe not necessarily, maybe they should not have, and unreasonable expectations about the job, prospect, yada, yada, all of that.

Tony Lopes: [00:34:14] Yeah. Cool. So are you still working with other nonprofits? Did you ever make it into that space as an attorney, or are you just, you’ve gone a different direction and that’s it?

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:34:24] Yeah, I mean, I’ve gone in a different direction. I. Had a lot of great internships and, uh, clinics while I was in law school and those, that was probably the most enjoyable part of law school. But, uh, yeah, I still just wanted to be able to do things a little quicker. Yeah. That’s okay.

Tony Lopes: [00:34:44] No worries. Yeah, a lot of red tape in the nonprofit space.

What about businesses that are now sort of starting to evolve? I mean. Maybe a decade ago or so, there was that whole concept of B corporations right, where you were going to be incorporated, but you were going to have a for benefit purpose as part of your articles or whatever. And that kind of went away in a weird way.

I guess it still exists from an entity perspective. I just don’t hear of it. Do you hear a lot of it where, where you are in your space?

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:35:13] Yeah. We actually did, um, around table in December that with a focus on sustainability, we did have a representative from, uh. From B lab there. Oh, cool. Um, yeah, I think that the, and it was also a partnership with the sustainable business network.

Um, and they, they do, they do a lot of great events. Um, they have a lot of great members. Um, yeah. I think, I do think that incorporating triple bottom line practices into your business is important, increasingly important for many reasons. But then also just from a marketing perspective. Um, people are liking that more and more.

Right. I mean, just look at shark tank. There are so many businesses that are just based around making things more sustainable. And I think that’s a beautiful thing. Yeah,

Tony Lopes: [00:36:01] yeah. Yeah. That’s actually where I was going to go with this was that, um, B Corp’s while. The B Corp by guests moniker, you don’t hear it as much, but you see just regular for-profits saying, you know, we’re going to have cause initiatives or we’re going to do cause marketing, or we’re going to find a way to collaborate with a nonprofit.

We’ve had a few guests on our show that have been in that space, so I am noticing the same trend. It was just wondering if you tend to prefer to work with those types of businesses. Does that kind of drive your passion for nonprofit support and small business support at the same time or. Does it really just not matter?

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:36:35] I think, well, two things. I think that what, what drives me is really seeing, working with small business owners who maybe are necessity entrepreneurs. I really enjoy running training events and, uh, for, for folks who, who need this, who need. Small business too, to become financially self-sufficient.

Tony Lopes: [00:36:57] Um, can you just clarify what necessity entrepreneurs are for the listeners?

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:37:02] So, for example, maybe you have somebody who is recently incarcerated and they’re barred from a lot of forms of traditional employment. They may have to seek entrepreneurship as a way to move forward. Well, yeah.

Tony Lopes: [00:37:13] Yeah. We’re actually going to be doing an episode with triple bottom brewing.

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:37:17] Oh yeah. They were, they were a guest panelists on that very round table and what they’re doing.

Oh my goodness. Yeah. Yeah. Go ahead. No, they’re just doing what? They’re doing a lot of great things and they, and they, they’re, I dunno, I just, they are respectful about it. Um, I one, one story that that test had mentioned that really stood out. I actually, you know what, I don’t want to give her stories away.

Tony Lopes: [00:37:39] Yeah. Well, test is the one that’s

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:37:40] potentially going to be

Tony Lopes: [00:37:42] just really briefly, triple bottom. Brewings and new brewery in Philadelphia. They opened roughly in September of 2019 I think, and Tessa and I connected through a mutual contact, former guests. And triple bottom is very passionate about, aside from beer and their brewery.

Also passionate about supporting individuals who sort of need a second chance. Right. Either former homeless people or people who were formerly incarcerated and they employ a lot of those individuals, right?

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:38:10] Yep, exactly. Yeah.

Tony Lopes: [00:38:11] Who else was on that panel, if you don’t mind me asking?

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:38:13] So a representative from EMA.

Okay. That’s how I learned about that. Yep. Well, before, uh, we had an accountant. Um, and we had a punch PR kind of talking about triple bottom line practices from a marketing perspective. Cool. Um, and somebody from B Corp, and I think that’s it. Very cool.

Tony Lopes: [00:38:38] Very cool. Awesome. Um, so what else should we be looking out for on the horizon from, you’ve got a lot of stuff going on, which is awesome.

Philly food adventures, any big things coming down the pipe?

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:38:49] I do private private tours now. When I started out, I did public tours, I guess. So I would say, here’s the day. Come on down. And it was just, it’s a little too chaotic for that, for a side hustle situation. So now private tours are, do a lot of, uh, staff outing.

So kind of like corporate mini retreats, family get togethers because, uh, it’s a good activity for. Really all ages. So if you have a, you have a seven year old and like grumpy teen, probably they like noodles and dumplings though, right? Yeah.

Tony Lopes: [00:39:24] Why Chinatown? Just out of curiosity.

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:39:26] Well, again, because of the  need to.

Make it more accessible. Also, the density there, it’s, it makes for a very nice walking tour because there are so many restaurants up you can go into in a very small radius. Very cool.

Tony Lopes: [00:39:41] They’re all walking tours, rain or shine.

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:39:43] Yup. Yup, yup, yup. Yeah. I think the hardest one that I did was actually with visit Philly.

And it was, um, over a hundred degrees. It was a really, really, really hot day. Wow. Very sweaty. Yeah.

Tony Lopes: [00:39:55] Tough one. It’s a hundred degrees in Philly,

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:39:57] so you made sure they ate super hot soup for breakfast, so I love that.

Tony Lopes: [00:40:04] Um, awesome. So if people want to get ahold of you, let’s start with the SPDC because you’re, you’re kind of a two parter.

Um, what’s the best way to reach out if they’re trying to contact you or the SBDC in

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:40:14] general? So if they’re kind of, if they’re trying to contact me, which should be questions about our incubator, um, or about our programming. My email is my name, Jamie. JAMIESBDC@temple.edu. Consulting, if that is something that you’re interested in, the best bet is to go to our website and sign up because if you call me, I’m going to make you do that anyway.

Tony Lopes: [00:40:36] Very cool. All right, and Philly food adventures is Philly, phillyfoodadventures.com. And what’s the best way to reach out to you for that?

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:40:49] Um, to email me, and, and this is just, this is a bad business practice, but it’s my email from my, from my previous blog. It’s like, come on Jamie, like practice what you preach.

So that’s jamie@midtownlunch.com. Okay, cool. Got it. That old blog,

Tony Lopes: [00:41:06] and they can also follow you PHL food guide. That’s at PHL food guide on Twitter. You tweet very actively. Yeah. And lots of interesting tweets about your food adventures around town. Very cool.

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:41:19] And you’re also very funny. Twitter is like the place where I kind kinda just say, am I

Tony Lopes: [00:41:27] from a text medium?

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:41:29] Yeah. I do more on Instagram these days, but,

Tony Lopes: [00:41:31] okay, cool. And what’s your handle on Instagram?

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:41:33] Same PHL food adventures.

Tony Lopes: [00:41:35] Then you are also on TripAdvisor, Philly food adventures, three words, and you are ranked based on the seven reviews. You’re number 11 of 53 who are the other 10

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:41:46] and I mean they are all much larger businesses than me.

They have teams, so I’m comfortable with my ranking and my perfect reviews. I love them. They make me really happy. If I got a bad review. I don’t know how I would take it. And I shouldn’t say that because I talk to business owners all the time about how to handle negative reviews and I, I do know how to handle them, but I think it would, it would get, it would get me, because again, because these, these tours are so personal, we’re just like in each other’s faces, slurping noodles together.

Tony Lopes: [00:42:22] Well, bad reviews in general are just kind of people take them personally, I think people forget when they are so quick to give a one star. Because you’re rating the Amazon box was crushed, has nothing to do with the product or individual. You

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:42:38] know, I was teaching a Facebook basics class. We had about 30 people show up.

It was awesome. And so we did cover a little bit about handling negative reviews. What’s appropriate and taking it offline as soon as possible. Being respectful. Yeah. Yeah.

Tony Lopes: [00:42:53] Yeah. We talked about this briefly, myself and , who is a former guest of the show, runs blue ocean global tech. Um, he and I have code done CLS on online reputation management for lawyers, but nonetheless, very similar.

How to just take a step back. Take a deep breath. It’s okay. Do not fire off an angry response. It’s worse if you’re an

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:43:15] attorney. Yeah. Yeah. Cause those are required.

Tony Lopes: [00:43:18] Yeah. Um, yeah, it’s an ethics one because, um, a lot of times attorneys, I’ll just snap back. Well, you should have not done this in your case and oops, just released attorney client privileged information and now you’re getting suspended or, or worse.

So, um, yeah. Bad lawyers out there sometimes, but I’m very, very cool and thank you so much for your time. This was great. At the end of our show, we always play a little game with our guests called first, last, best and worst. It’s just to get to know you on a little bit of a more personal level, and we support very, very avidly.

I wholeheartedly support female entrepreneurship. My wife’s a business owner as well, and we think you’re all rock stars. What’s your first, last, best and worst moment as a female entrepreneur?

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:44:04] So talking about the business, not talking about the SPDC right now. Yeah. Um, so yeah, I think the first, the first was, um, it, am I providing an experience that people would be interested in paying for and, uh, what would they pay for this experience?

So that was a question that I had to answer. Um, and I actually went through this company first, and they, um, they had a partnership with Groupon, so that’s really how I started out was, uh. Like a Groupon thing. Wow. Um, and was able to get some, some TripAdvisor reviews that way, and I was like, okay, thanks.

I’m going to go on my own now. But I think honestly that first conversation with the person from that organization was really encouraging. Like, yeah, this is a great idea. You should do that. I said, Oh, okay. I’m glad you think it.

Tony Lopes: [00:44:54] That’s really empowering. That’s really cool. And then once people start paying for it, that is a very empowering feeling.

Of course.

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:45:00] Yeah. And sometimes I get tips. I’ve never, I’ve ever really had a job where I got disappointed. That’s really fun.

Tony Lopes: [00:45:06] That’s cool. All right. How about the last one, which would just be sort of the most recent one?

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:45:09] So there has been a change, which is that I like to end my tours with, uh, a grocery store walk around.

Interesting. Points out my favorite ingredients, ask people if there is anything that they’d been trying to find. And then I kind of help them find, find where it would be in the store. And that particular place closed down, which is also double sad because there was a little restaurant inside it that this isn’t a basement and it made it really, really good.

A fried squid and really good noodles. So that was sad. And I had to adapt and find another grocery store. And a. I did. Yeah. That was the most recent thing. It was like I had to try that out with going to a new grocery store with the new layout that, and you know, not one that I had been to before, but still hadn’t brought a big group too and happened to be crowded, but it was fine.

Yeah. They enjoyed it. Very cool. Yeah.

Tony Lopes: [00:45:59] All right. How about the best one?

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:46:01] Um, the best probably, uh. And this, this ties into, this ties into Baca. The, the, my, the SBDC thing too. I was, I was at a training, um, on a particular consulting tool for small businesses and, um, focused on goals and it was great. And, um, that plus some encouragement from my husband, I actually restructured my pricing model.

And, uh, yeah, it was that. It was, it’s been good. No pushback. I feel like my prices are really comfortable. Um, but I still needed to ensure that I was getting a minimum amount for my time with the smaller groups. So thinking about, thinking about your, your, your time, the value of your time, which is something that I would tell any entrepreneur, especially female entrepreneurs who sometimes struggle with that.

But thinking about, okay, you’re going to do a smaller group, but you got to walk away with. This amount. Awesome.

Tony Lopes: [00:46:59] Yeah, and you know, a lot of times I think entrepreneurs early on, especially when you’re starting a business, we’re kind of going into a new space. You don’t really know how to price, and you’re kind of more so afraid than the market is willing to pay sometimes.

But to your point, from very early on in the episode now, switching hats to the SBDC, if you’re doing a lot of that business planning that’s forcing you to look at that, what will the market bear?

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:47:23] Right? So you’re, you’re kind of, you’re figuring it out. Is it based on your costs, the cost of your goods? Is it based on what your competition is doing?

Thinking about that. Yeah.

Tony Lopes: [00:47:33] How about the worst moment as a female entrepreneur? If there is one.

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:47:38] the worst, the worst moment. Um, I one time had somebody on a tour who had a lot of dietary restrictions, um, and I saw them early in the tour when we were at the part where we were eating some things that they couldn’t eat.

Um, eat a, a granola bar and it made me really sad. I was like, I need to win this person over. But by the end of the tour where there are more things that they could eat, they were eating everything and they were happy. So it worked out okay. But I was really, I mean, that was like main kick me in the stomach, you know, eat a girdle.

Tony Lopes: [00:48:13] All right, so your

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:48:14] funniest, you didn’t ask that. Okay. How about the flooding? Okay. I will tell us since you asked,

Tony Lopes: [00:48:21] you’re the first one to add. Really.

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:48:24] Okay. Well, since you asked one time, this is early on a, on a tour at the, at that grocery store, rip. Um, I took the folks pass the frogs and turtle because you know, we, that we don’t judge other people’s food.

Right? It’s kind of. You know, entertaining, perhaps to look at. People have different reactions. So it’s entertaining for me to watch their reactions. Anyway, so I’m a middle aged woman, was a little. A little perturbed by that and I remind her, we don’t judge other cultures, food. That’s not, that’s not what we do.

And so, uh, she was like, Oh, you think that maybe I could save one. I live in the suburbs, maybe I could put it in my ponds. And I was like, ah, he is, these frogs are like. They’re on their way out. You know, they’re, they’re on their way out. I wouldn’t recommend that. So I go to buy some chocolate for the rest of the group to finish off with our dessert and I come back and she has a plastic bag with the frog in it.

And she’s like, she says, so yeah, I did it. Sorry. And they said, do you want me to chop it up? And I said, no, no, no, no, no. Um, because that’s what they do. They, they, you know, they, they drop it off for you, cause that’s going to make it easier when you’re cooking. And she did not want that, obviously, but they also don’t have vessels for live frog.

So they gave her this plastic bag that she poked holes in and it’s just looking very for Lauren in this bag. And then it jumps out and starts jumping down the produce aisle and everybody is cracking up. She is like half mortified, just half laughing. I just cannot believe that this is happening. And then eventually she did get the frog back in the bag.

And I like to think that that frog is living its best life in the suburbs.

Tony Lopes: [00:50:07] That’s great. A rescue frog rescue frog. Nice. Awesome. Awesome. All right. How about your first, last, best and worst since you’re somewhat new to Philadelphia? When did you move to Philly, by the

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:50:17] way? 10 years. Oh, okay.

Tony Lopes: [00:50:19] So decade, but. Okay. Your first experience in the city first restaurant you hit, if you can remember, or at least the first memorable.

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:50:27] It’s hard. I mean, I had been coming to Philly. I went to, uh, to college in, in Lancaster. So I have been coming to Philly for a while. Um, I mean, it’s, it’s really hard to remember, but I will say when I first. When I did first move for law school and I wasn’t trying to town with my family. We happen to stumble upon that basement restaurant and we just saw this door and we’re like, what’s, what’s down there?

Other stairs? Maybe there’s something cool down there. And so that was, that was a nice memory because we hadn’t read about it at that point yet, so we just actually stumbled onto it ourselves so that that was the special very, that was, that was a long time ago.

Tony Lopes: [00:51:01] Cool. How about your most recent.

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:51:04] Uh, last night I went to laser Wolf, so that’s, uh, Solomont Huff’s new restaurant.


Tony Lopes: [00:51:10] I saw it on your Twitter.

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:51:11] Oh yeah.

Tony Lopes: [00:51:12] They respond. Do they respond to your tweets?

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:51:15] Oh, so I posted on my Instagram story and they responded. And then this is embarrassing. Um, Instagram gives you these little, like weird emojis that are, I guess, exclusive to Instagram. And so I sent them the, I miss you one.

And just feeling weird at the moment.

Tony Lopes: [00:51:34] Was that accidental? No,

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:51:35] no, totally. I thought this is funny for me, so I’m just going to go ahead and do that.

Tony Lopes: [00:51:40] Very, very buddy. Very cool. All right. How about your favorite? Your all time best. Filling restaurant.

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:51:46] You know that honestly, I’ll give you two. It’s harder than the bar exam.

That question.

Tony Lopes: [00:51:51] I’ll give you two. I’ll give you one in Chinatown.

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:51:53] Oh my goodness.

Tony Lopes: [00:51:55] One anywhere in the city.

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:51:57] It’s really, really hard cause it just depends on the mood. Part of the reason why I live in Philly is because I need variety. I really need to be able to. Have Indonesian when I want Indonesian or Polish, or it was Becky or Cambodia and, or French for me is I just need all of it.

So I just, I really can’t. I can’t, I don’t have a favorite. It’s too hard. It’s too hard. It’s like the hardest.

Tony Lopes: [00:52:19] How about favorite Uzbeki?

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:52:21] Oh yeah. That I can do. Um, I mean, the, the restaurant is called Uzbekistan. It is awesome. I haven’t been in too long. I’m, I’m definitely owed a visit, but it’s a really fun, it is.

North, so it’s on Busselton, AV and Northeast. Um, and they just have great, actually speaking of laser wall from their skewers, they was Uzbekistan. It’s great skewers. Um, just great dumpling type stuff. I love dumpling type stuff. Anything dumpling I love. Yeah.

Tony Lopes: [00:52:52] All right. How about favorite in Chinatown? I’m going to make you commit to one.

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:52:57] Um, that’s hard. I think. Uh, standby has been M a E dash M. E. I’ve been told that’s the way to pronounce it. Um, but hopefully I’m, that’s what I was given correct information. That is a really, uh, that’s been a standby for me for years and years. And I do take bank groups there. They recently redid other interior, so it looks really nice.

I have yet to figure out who runs her Twitter account. Because they have one. And I’ve asked my friends there and they’re like, Oh, it’s not me. It’s not me. But anyway, yeah. So they, they have such one food and, uh, it’s just, it’s good and it’s not, uh, Dom pretentious. So I guess I would say that place cool.

But it’s really hard. Awesome. I also really love Rangoon cause the Burmese food and that’s really the only Burmese food we have in Philly. And she on sizzling walk, cause I love the shinies food. It’s hard.

Tony Lopes: [00:53:50] You’re slowly digressing away from picking a favorite.

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:53:56] Yeah. Nice. Awesome. All right,

Tony Lopes: [00:54:00] I see that. I see that you gave me the great response. It depends. Um, how about your worst restaurant


Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:54:07] I can do? And it actually wasn’t trying to town. Um, worse food experience.

Tony Lopes: [00:54:13] Throw anyone under the

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:54:14] bus. Chinatown. Um, and sometimes I do tell my food tours about the story, but sometimes I don’t.

But, um, I and I have eaten, I haven’t a lot of crazy things. I’ve eaten severe  from the back of a laundry mat and Nicaragua, like I’ve eaten, well, I guess a lot of it has to be true. I’ve eaten so VJ off of like a spoon of like a flower vendor in a Chilean market. Wow. I’ll go there. I’ve eaten scorpion in China, but my worst.

My worst food experience was really soup in Chinatown. I ordered soup. It was mountain soup and it was hairy. It was hairy, and

Tony Lopes: [00:54:52] the mountain was still here.

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:54:53] Yeah. Yeah. And it just did not sit well with me. I think about it still, and it makes my stomach turn. That was the worst.

Tony Lopes: [00:55:00] There’s a great, um, have you had

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:55:03] Tibetan

Tony Lopes: [00:55:05] in.


Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:55:07] Himalayan. Yeah,

Tony Lopes: [00:55:08] yeah,

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:55:09] yeah. Right. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Tony Lopes: [00:55:11] That’s like my, my, and, um, we just discovered it recently because, uh, friends of ours that live in the neighborhood told us about it, and actually they listened to the show on occasion. So if they’re listening, they’re shopping.

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:55:26] Yeah. Shout out to your friend.

Yeah. There are some good, uh. Thai places around there that have cow soy, which is a soup that I’ve been searching for in Philly that I haven’t found a place to do it. So I think right close to a white yak, there are some places that do it.

Tony Lopes: [00:55:41] Interesting. And what’s the, what type of soup is, it’s

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:55:43] like a Curry delicious soup.

Um. Yeah. From Northern Thailand. Yeah.

Tony Lopes: [00:55:50] Very cool.

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:55:51] Very cool.

Tony Lopes: [00:55:52] Awesome. Yeah, I’ll definitely have to check it out. So yeah, so if Jason’s listening, he recommended white yak on Ridge Avenue, and that’s J Tom as inJ  dash T H O m.com and that’s where you can get great design. For your kitchen actually.

So Jason’s pretty awesome

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:56:12] guy. Just made fun of my kitchen and told me I have to read you my counter, so don’t tell me there. There you go. You should go talk to Jason.

Tony Lopes: [00:56:20] So if he’s listening, great place to go. He’s right on pine in Philly, so downtown. So when are you going to go get some of that soup?

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:56:29] Wait, which soup? The mutton soup. Oh yeah. Now that’s, I mean, that’s a good, it’s a good time of year for it.

Tony Lopes: [00:56:35] Yeah, right. Yeah. So are you going to go up maybe this weekend, maybe.

Maybe sometime soon. Maybe you’ll have to report back and let us know what you think. Cause if it’s a good spot, I’ll

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:56:45] plan for this weekend. My parents are visiting, so whenever they come, it’s a full Philly food adventure itinerary.

Tony Lopes: [00:56:50] Nice. Are you crazy? Take them on a tour? Is it like the high end tour or are you giving them like the, yeah, I grew up with you.

You know, you’re getting

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:56:59] the no, they get the very best tour. They get them. Yeah. Because we, it’s be, we’d just, we’d go everywhere.

Tony Lopes: [00:57:04] And now do you try, are they really adventurous

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:57:07] from a food perspective? So they, um. I that they are, why I am the way I am. They were a pooling their allowances when they were 16 to go out to Chinatown in New York city.

They’re adorable.

Tony Lopes: [00:57:19] They are

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:57:21] Queens. Awesome. Cool. I’m from Queens and maybe I, you know, went away in college maybe. Oh, interesting. Did you hear my mom. Yeah,

Tony Lopes: [00:57:29] totally. Queens accent. Yeah.

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:57:31] Very cool. And do an impression of her.

Tony Lopes: [00:57:35] Have you thought about doing a career in stand up a side hustle, side hustle?

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:57:41] Um, I appreciate

Tony Lopes: [00:57:42] that.

Yeah, no worries. Yeah, I think you’re pretty funny. So that’s,

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:57:46] I say that I’m funny too much to be like people, people shouldn’t just say that they’re funny, but. I dunno.

Tony Lopes: [00:57:52] Yeah. Like if you have to tell someone

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:57:53] that would be or not, right. But I still do it anyway.

Tony Lopes: [00:57:56] Or the opposite when somebody is like, I don’t mean to be an asshole, but it’s like, yep.

Yeah. You’re just, you’re just giving yourself, you’re opening the door to just go ahead and be an asshole. No worries. Um, yeah. The, so to your point, I, um. I’ve always wanted to do a little stand up. And, um, now that I’m teaching, I’m adjuncting a temple and I’m teaching intellectual property law to undergrads at Fox.

When a joke falls flat in the middle of a lecture, nothing hurts more.

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:58:23] I totally relate to that because in my, in my trainings, um, I really like to make a lot of jokes. Uh, but mine always deliver. So

I’m doing, I’m doing. Yeah. You know, and on Tuesday we’re doing a business plan basics. So that’ll be an evening class that I’m giving, and it’s really dry. And I’m like, how am I gonna make this funny? But I figure I’m not, I’m going to plan for it. I’m just going to hope it comes naturally and I’ll come up with something.

Tony Lopes: [00:58:54] Are you good on the fly? Maybe.

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:58:57] Yeah. I don’t know. It didn’t practice. That was pretty good

Tony Lopes: [00:58:59] a second ago. Yeah. Yeah. I think they’re starting to laugh more at my jokes. I don’t think it’s because they appreciate my humor more. I think they just figure I’ll move on faster

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:59:07] if I don’t do like .

Tony Lopes: [00:59:09] The a moment of silence in waiting for somebody to chuckle.

So I’m kidding. No, I, uh, I have thick skin being a lawyer. You get called a lot worse than, and you go through a lot worse

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:59:20] than that.

Tony Lopes: [00:59:20] So, um, but yeah, it’s every once in a while you’re like crickets. I really thought that was funny. Like, I, um, we went through patents in class, and so I brought up examples of actual patents.

One was for a bird diaper. .

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:59:35] Yup.

Tony Lopes: [00:59:36] And the drawing on the patent is of a, like a Canary or, or a parakeet or something wearing a diaper.

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [00:59:43] See, that’s the type of business that our office, who would say, Hey, have you focused group? This is going to take a step back with them.

Tony Lopes: [00:59:53] That was one. Then there was one that was a, um.

A mask to help you lose weight. And it was basically just like a Hannibal Lecter style face mask covering your mouth so that you literally cannot eat. Yeah. And then there was another one that was a ass kicking device. Which was like just the boot on the end of like a, uh, like a rotating thing on a stick.

And this was a legit patent

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [01:00:20] for

Tony Lopes: [01:00:21] amusement and the sketch on the patent was this boot kicking. Like a drawn

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [01:00:25] person can be fun. It can be,

Tony Lopes: [01:00:29] it’s a little dry, otherwise, no, it is a good course. They’re super engaging. But my attempts at comedy have not yet really. Resulted in the amount of Umer that I want.

All right. Yeah. It’s okay. It’s not your fault. I’m going to work on it.

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [01:00:43] And you should let your students know cause these are undergrads, right? Yeah. So if they ended up going to law school and they are interested in following, you know, IP track that they should do a clinic. At the SBDC. There you go.

Tony Lopes: [01:00:54] There you go.

I like it. I’ll, I’ll champion your efforts. I’ll do the best I can.

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [01:00:58] That’s a great experience.

Tony Lopes: [01:00:59] Yeah. No, I, I Klinect when I was in law school and, um, same thing, SBDC, uh, at Rutgers and we helped small businesses. It was very rewarding. It really was. Yeah. Basically the same thing. Yeah. Thanks. Um, first person that told me I was awesome today and I appreciate it.

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [01:01:19] Hopefully not the last, I don’t know. I’m going home

Tony Lopes: [01:01:21] to my wife, so probably the last.

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [01:01:27] Got

Tony Lopes: [01:01:27] you. You didn’t expect that finally. All right, good. Um, I’m going to end on a high note, so thanks for being on the show. This was fantastic. Had a lot of fun. You are great, and you are hilarious. You should consider safe. Um, so look out for everything Jamie is doing. Reach out to her at the SBDC, especially if you’re looking for consulting.

I know you said that you would point them at the website, go to the website if you need consulting and check out Philly food adventures and follow them on Twitter, et cetera. Instagram

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [01:01:58] and the SBDC as well.

Tony Lopes: [01:01:59] And the SBDC as well. Oh, you guys are on social media. So what are the handles for the SBDC?

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [01:02:04] So Instagram, it’s at temple SBDC, Twitter.

It’s T, U underscore SBDC. And then we also have a Facebook. Um, LinkedIn. And then my director keeps joking that I need to get on tech talk, but I still feel like I’m too old for that.

Tony Lopes: [01:02:20] You got to do it. The sooner the better. I’m not on there yet either.

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [01:02:24] Actually. You know, I did hear that podcast that you did with uh, Emily.

Is that her name? Yes. And she was talking about talk and he didn’t get into it and I was like, ah. Darn.

Tony Lopes: [01:02:35] Hilarious. Cool. Well, thanks again for being on the show. We really appreciate it.

Jamie Shanker-Passero: [01:02:39] Thank you.

Tony Lopes: [01:02:40] Thanks.