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Coffee Talk

An entrepreneur brings something new to the place she calls home.

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This story appears in the May 2008 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Born and raised in Oakland, California, Mary Forte worked in IT for a large corporation for three decades before retiring to buy a franchise in her hometown. With the help of a franchise broker, she decided to become an It's A Grind coffeehouse franchisee.

Forte made the most of her hometown's resources--she sought advice from a local center for entrepreneurs, and through the Oakland Business Development Center, she learned how to get funding for construction and equipment. She also takes advantage of the Oakland Enterprise Zone tax incentive program each year, receiving tax credits for her employees who live within the zone (which is most of them).

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