Lynn Carr was at one time a homeless woman. Today, in 1998, she's the owner and operator of Twainland Cheesecake Company and Cafe. In 1994, she opened her business, and today, she has 14 employees who make dozens of different kinds of cheesecakes.
Her desserts are fast becoming a tourist attraction in Hannibal, Missouri, Mark Twain's boyhood home. Today, Carr has even more ambitious plans and is working to take Twainland Cheesecakes into stores around the country and open a chain of cheesecake cafes.
Most of Carr's employees are high school dropouts and welfare moms who often come from impoverished areas on the "wrong side of the tracks." Her workers are highly motivated and truly grateful for the opportunity that Lynn Carr gives them when most "regular" businesses would not give them a chance.
Carr keeps her employees motivated by providing a small television set, complete with a VCR, sitting on a refrigerator in the tiny kitchen among the ovens, sinks, pots and pans. The employees work and listen as they create cheesecakes and lunch sandwiches. Motivational speakers on videotape deliver words of encouragement with a strong emphasis on self-esteem, work ethic and religion. She's planning to open a new "total program" factory with a learning center and a day care center on-site.
Carr's approach to business enables her to create opportunities while teaching her people how to get more of the things money will buy and most of the things that money won't buy. It's true: Opportunity lies in the person, not the job or the location. Needed: Lynn Carrs everywhere who will extend a hand up and not a hand out to the homeless. See you at the top.
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