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David Fine

Fellowship Class: 
2013

Schmear It

A unique food truck with a social conscience. The food concept involves bringing NYC bagels to Philadelphia, and schmearing them with made-to-order spreads. That could mean tuna salad mixed with avocado, chopped tomatoes, and peppers for one customer or low-fat cream cheese mixed with chopped lox, scallions, and cucumbers for another. Call it the Coldstone Creamery of Bagels. I'm even more excited about the second component: each week, I will donate a percentage of profits to a local nonprofit. I will solicit causes and charities from my customers, empowering them as philanthropists at no extra cost or effort. My truck will be a grassroots fundraising and marketing platform, and a stimulus for thought and conversation. There are two conflicting problems Schmear It seeks to address: too many people are needy and struggle to maintain basic quality of life (hunger, for example, is rampant – data indicate 1 in 4 in Philly are hungry – and yet feels distant for most who never have to worry about their next meal. Hunger will be a focus area given the logical food association.), and simultaneously, greed and the bottom line predominate much of business. Aside from fundraising, I hope to send the reminder that there are many less fortunate than we. I aim to be an active demonstration (particularly to aspiring Penn students, many of whom study at Wharton) that business is not just about profits and that a social mission interwoven with a product can actually be good and right for business.

About the Founder: 

I grew up in Baltimore, Maryland and am always happy to return home. I recently graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in May '11, having studied History, Communication, and Psychology, fully taken advantage of student life, and gotten to know and love Philly. I continue to search my own creativity and opportunities around me for the "career path" that will combine all of my passions, skills, and interests. I am adamant about doing something that I am passionate about, has an impact, and is unique. I tried baseball and loved it but was unfulfilled by its lacking social impact. I have more recently tried the nonprofit sector but have at times been frustratingly disillusioned by certain aspects. I am developing the mindset that good can often be accomplished better from a for-profit platform in which a social conscience is inextricably tied to its core brand and business model. This is what I am currently seeking to do. Specifically, I would like to one day apply social business models to the restaurant industry. In addition to my career ambitions, people, baseball, dogs, food, evolving media trends, wine, beer, neck ties, smart and creative business ideas (particularly the one-for-one socially infused business model), and traveling and exploring new countries and cities all excite me.

Update:
Just two months after Launch Night, Schmear It opened for business! Dave's orange food truck is now all over the city at LOVE Park, City Hall, Drexel, The Navy Yard, UPenn and The Porch at 30th Street Station (find where the truck is each day on Twitter). The truck's featured causes have included Challah For Hunger (a venture from the Jerusalem Fellowship), The Monster Milers, Fairmount Park Conservancy and the Tribe 12 Fellowship itself! Schmear It has been featured on Fox 29Foobooz and Philly.com.