Sarah Holmes, the owner of Petit Gourmand, used her creativity and knowledge to bring to Manayunk a law practice for small business owners, right behind the walls of Petit Gourmand, her kitchen and gourmet shop.
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Holmes opened up Petit Gourmand, located at 103 Cotton Street, in September 2013. The shop offers local products as well as imported products from Europe. Holmes also has a legal practice called Philadelphia’s Small Business Lawyer.
Before becoming a successful entrepreneur, Holmes started out as a personal injury lawyer. Six years into her career as an attorney, Holmes began making skincare products and soy candles in her kitchen and created Gritty City Philadelphia.
As she was starting her own business, Holmes had to figure out what to do as an entrepreneur and what she needed legally for her business to grow.
“When I started my first business, even as a lawyer, I didn’t know how to do any of this stuff,” said Holmes. “I didn’t know really about contract writing or setting up a corporation or hiring employees.”
Holmes knew what to look for thanks to her legal background but it got her thinking about the bigger picture.
“It made me think like, what are people doing?” said Holmes. “How do people know how to do any of this?”
Holmes had a hard time finding people who understood who she was and her business.
“Lawyers typically don’t have other businesses,” said Holmes. “So they hadn’t really been doing anything like I was doing.”
Holmes saw the opportunity to create a business that would benefit many small business owners that struggled like her, and might still be struggling to find the legal help they need.
“I thought, ‘Well there are other people out there with businesses,’” said Holmes. “I should help them because I know there is no one else out there with that sort of background that can help people.”
With the support of her family, Holmes was able to have two businesses of her own. Today, her mission is to keep small business owners in business, as Holmes described it.
“I do that by running my law practice, Philadelphia’s Small Business Lawyer, and I do that through the store because I buy a lot of my products from people that are small business owners themselves,” said Holmes.
– Text, video and images by Alison Vayne