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The Ionian

The Student News Site of Iona University

The Ionian

The Student News Site of Iona University

The Ionian

E-Talk with Gary Kris and Lydia Kris: Reflections on using an entrepreneurial mindset to succeed

photo taken by Adrian Vazquez
Gaels learn more about what it means to be creative and how it relates to entrepreneurship.

The Entrepreneurial Talk program is a long-standing series of guest speaker events hosted by the Hynes Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation to provide students with entrepreneurial lessons, regardless of their major or interests.   

On Nov. 6, cofounders of the White Plains coffee shop, Pamplemousse Project, Gary Kris and Lydia Kris, gave an E-Talk on how to use the entrepreneurial mindset to succeed. The E-Talk was moderated by Hynes Institute Strategist-in-Residence Lisa Tretler.  

Throughout the E-Talk, the couple emphasized the importance of a growth mindset when succeeding in entrepreneurial endeavors.  

“There’s nothing wrong with learning,” Gary asserts. “When a problem comes up, you have to be a problem-solver as an entrepreneur.”   

The Krises are no strangers to problem-solving. For instance, enduring the numerous challenges prior to the opening of the Pamplemousse Project during the COVID-19 pandemic such as handling the lengthy and expensive process of obtaining city permits, installing absent plumbing and dealing with extensive extermination costs. However, overcoming challenges does not illustrate the full story of this remarkable café.  

The Pamplemousse Project is not only committed to serving the best coffee in White Plains, but also to serving the community of White Plains. Inspired by the tradition of donating all after-tax to charity practiced by the food brand Newman’s Own, the Pamplemousse Project also donates its profits to local charities and non-profits. In addition to charitable donations, the café is also marketed by the Krises as a community hangout spot for the public and organizations alike.  

“We have White Plains High School musicians come and play in our space,” Lydia adds. “If a local organization needs a place to have a meeting, we act as a resource for them for the community at large.”  

When customers ask about the inspiration behind the Pamplemousse Project, the Krises refer to a memorable analogy mentioning their family rescue dog to tell their customers.  

“She’s not perfect, she has her challenges, “Lydia explains. “Similarly, our community is wonderful and vibrant, but has a lot of challenges, which the nonprofits and charities we donate to seek to address.”  

Today, the Pamplemousse Project stands proud on Mamaroneck Avenue as a staple of the White Plains community since its opening in 2022. The Krises encourage feedback from college students on their café, so make sure to stop by and join their Customer Loyalty Program to regularly vote on which charity the Pamplemousse Project donates to. 

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Adrian Vazquez
Adrian Vazquez, Assistant News Editor

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