August 26, 2022 | , ,

The Genius behind French Toast Bites: Interview with Charisse McGill


French Toast. A breakfast staple for most people, but what if it was taken to the next level? Charisse McGill, the owner of Lokal Artisan Foods (and an alum of both Temple and SJU!) created what has become a Philly staple: French Toast Bites, serving these delicious bites regularly at Cherry Street Pier and throughout the region at events and festivals.

We had the chance to sit down with Charisse and talk about her story, her business, and why she’s excited to be at Campus Philly’s CollegeFest this year!

Tell us a little about yourself and your business. What’s the French Toast Bites “story”?

French Toast Bites is the epitome of taking a leap of faith. On November 15, 2018, I resigned from my cushy, director-level day job, and two days later launched French Toast Bites in the middle of Philadelphia at the annual Holiday Market. In the first 45 days of that event, my gross sales totaled 75% of the salary that I left behind. The immediate success set the trajectory as to what was to come, which includes taking a street food (French Toast Bites), turning it into a spice (French Toast Bites Spice), a beer (French Toast Bites Ale) and a coffee (French Toast Bites Coffee) which have been brought to market and blazed trails.

You completed your undergrad at Temple, and went on to get your MBA at Saint Joseph’s University. How did your education, courses, and network prepare you for your entrepreneurial journey?

The coursework in Temple University’s School of Sport, Tourism & Hospitality Management prepared me for the industry. The program groomed me on the fundamentals of the hospitality industry and placed a huge emphasis on the power of networking. My experience at St. Joseph’s University was a huge part of my entrepreneurial journey. I started the program in January 2018 and started French Toast Bites just nine months later. For the greater part of the last four years, I was a full-time student and full-time entrepreneur. Being able to lean on my classmates with real life experiences, and professors that had both industry experience and brought life to the academia, was clutch in the growth of French Toast Bites.

Photo Credit: Lokal Artisan Foods

If you had one piece of advice for a current college student looking to start their own business, what would you say?

Drake is one of my favorite rappers and in one of his earlier songs he says, “Do Right And Kill Everything”…that’s it, that’s the advice.


We are so excited to be joined by French Toast Bites at the Campus Philly Block Party during this year’s CollegeFest. Why should students get excited about visiting your booth?

All of the vibes are at French Toast Bites! Plus you may catch some gems.

You should come to CollegeFest because…

It’s the best place to start your network with like-minded individuals. Network, network, network, you can never know too many people.



Did you love Charisse’s story? You can meet her AND eat French Toast Bites at the CollegeFest Block Party on Sept. 10 and Sept. 11! Get your ticket here TODAY!

Follow us on Instagram, join our newsletter, and stay connected to all things Philly this semester. We can’t wait to introduce you to even more ways to engage with our favorite city this fall!


Mini-Guide: University City/West Philly Edition

Photo credit: @woodlandsphila This year’s Guide to Philly features neighborhood guides written by students and recent grads. In this mini-guide to West Philly/University City, we cover things to do, places…

Mini-Guide: Manayunk Edition

Photo Credit: @meganannmayer This year’s Guide to Philly features neighborhood guides written by students and recent grads. In this mini-guide to Manayunk, we cover things to do, places to eat,…

Stay up-to-date on the latest student events, deals, and ideas this semester.