Meet Tribe 12 Fellow Dave Fine, Hanukkah Celebration Honoree

In her past life, our in-house matchmaker Danielle Selber was a Fellow in the inaugural class of the Tribe 12 Fellowship and went on to run the Fellowship program for four years. Here, she reflects on each of the incredible honorees for the Tribe 12 Hanukkah Celebration on Monday, December 19th, a night of food and fun open to everyone in the Tribe 12 community!

Tribe 12 Fellow Dave Fine (’13) has the world’s coolest job title: Founder and Chief Schmear Officer. His business, Schmear It, is a mobile food truck and brick-and-mortar operation serving the best bagels in Philadelphia. He’s known for his weekly specials with knockout flavor combos including, right on topic, the Schmearacle of Hanukkah which was delightfully advertised as “a potato latke, sliced lox and a schmear of cream cheese, apples and scallions on your bagel of choice!”

So what is a nice Jewish boy like Dave doing in a nice bagel truck like that? When Dave applied to the Tribe 12 Fellowship and joined the 2013 cohort, he had an idea and not much else. A few plans on paper, a sketch or two – that’s it! Throughout the Fellowship we watched him take those tiny steps you take to start something new. By Launch Night, the Fellowship’s annual culminating event, Dave had a food truck! OK, it was a bit rusty, and needed a paint job and a tune up, but it was his.

Dave on the truck in the early days (wearing Tribe 12 swag, of course)

Over the years Dave has grown his business into a mainstay in Philly, with shops at 36th & Market and a cafe at 990 Spring Garden. Schmear It is particularly popular on college campuses like Drexel and Penn, his alma mater. Coming from Baltimore – go Ravens, he would want me to add here – Penn is where he fell in love with Philly’s food scene and food truck culture.

Dave is the definition of a social entrepreneur because built right into his business model is a mechanism for social good. Each month, Schmear it selects a local featured cause to which a portion of sales will be donated. It’s just one way we Spread Some Good. Excellent past causes have included the Bethesda Project and Back on My Feet, and this nice little operation you might have heard of called Tribe 12.

Dave with the rest of the 2013 cohort on stage at Pitch Night

Dave also happens to be one of the kindest, humblest, loveliest humans you will ever meet. He was always the last one to leave the weekly seminars, helping his fellow Fellows build their businesses with almost as much joy and passion as he did with his own. Ten years after his own graduation, he gives back to the Tribe 12 Fellowship community every year by volunteering as a peer mentor, supporting a new Fellow as they sit where he once did.

Listening closely to a new class of Fellows as they make their pitches

I can still hear him delivering his elevator pitch at Launch Night: “I serve up bagels AND social good!” as the crowd fell in love with him like the rest of us. We are so proud of Dave – proud of his success, and so incredibly proud to know him as an individual and a treasured member of this community.

 

Please join me on December 19th at the beautiful Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History to celebrate these honorees and enjoy drinks, latkes and jelly donuts with the Tribe 12 community at large. You don’t want to miss it! Get details and RSVP at tribe12.org/hanukkahcelebration.