According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2.4 million people are currently “marginally attached” to the labor force, which means they are available for work. Among those are another 968,000 who are considered “discouraged workers,” which are those who are available for work but have given up looking, because they believe there are no jobs available. Millions of people have lost their job over the last few years as a result of the country’s economic downturn. But some, like the founders of Lizbeth Lane Gourmet Cuisine, have used the economic downturn as a springboard to follow their passion and start their own business.
“At our age, we thought we were in careers that would take us to retirement,” explains Michael Dernoga, co-founder and CEO of Lizbeth Lane Gourmet Cuisine. “We have really come to believe that sometimes things are a blessing in disguise.”
That blessing in disguise occurred when two men, Michael Dernoga and Rid Francisco, President and CIO, with a combined 60 years of work experience between them, found themselves out of work at the same time. One saw his advertising agency go under, while the other lost his job in healthcare management. The two men, who live on the same street in suburban Philadelphia – Lizbeth Lane – ended up combining forces to create a company that focused on something about which they are both passionate.
Both self-described foodies enjoy cooking and have been making tasty and healthy simmer sauces for years. Combining their skills and knowledge, they took their love of great food, and their need for employment, straight into the kitchen. The result is a line of ready-to-use simmer sauces which are all-natural and gluten-free. The jarred sauces come in four unique flavors: Roasted Red Pepper & Basil Cream, Lemon Piccata, Mediterranean Tomato, and Marsala & Tarragon. They can be used on any type of meat, seafood or tofu.
“There are other sauces out there, but we like to think that none had as good a reason for succeeding as ours did,” added Dernoga. “We are passionate about food, and our efforts have certainly turned lemons into lemonade.”
Both men love to cook and put their culinary skills to work for the business. Dernoga handles the daily operations, while Francisco manages product development and marketing. Together, they have created a line of sauces that is currently available in 70 stores over 16 states, with that number increasing rapidly. Soon they will be incorporating additional items into their product line. Their sauces are also available for purchase online, at www.lizbethlanecuisine.com.
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BLS. Employment Situation Summary. May 2012. <http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.n