Paso del Norte Entrepreneurship Oral History Project
Biographical Synopsis of Interviewee
Leigh Kersh was born in El Paso, Texas and attended school at Austin High School, The University of Texas at El Paso, The University of Texas at Austin and New York University. Leigh has two brothers and two sisters. She is married and living in El Paso, Texas and is the owner of Chocolat.
Summary of Interview
Leigh Kersh was born in El Paso, Texas to Moe and Rosie Kersh. Leigh attended The University of Texas at El Paso and The University of Texas at Austin before attending New York University and graduating with a degree in Physiology. While Leigh finished her degree at NYU, she worked for Federal Express in customer service and then once she graduated she became their corporate physiologist. Leigh credits her time with Federal Express for learning how to do customer service, how to run an operation, and how to train the right people for the company. Leigh grew up watching her father work in real estate and learned how to be business savvy from her father. Leigh is bi-lingual in English and Spanish and speaks Hebrew and Russian as well. Leigh left Federal Express in New York and to work in North Miami Beach Florida. While in North Miami Beach, Leigh was offered to buy a chocolate shop. Leigh recalled a chocolate shop she loved in Rockefeller Center back in New York and she seized the opportunity to purchase the shop. Leigh spent over a decade in Miami, building the chocolate shop into a massive business which she was able to sell in three months and retire. Leigh returned to El Paso on a visit and was reintroduced to a former crush and they fell in love and Leigh decided to return to El Paso permanently. She opened her own chocolate store in El Paso called Chocolat. Leigh values her customers and takes great steps to ensure that anyone who enters the shop will be able to find the right piece of chocolate for the right price. Leigh has a lot of pride in her store and only offers the best chocolate. Leigh’s advice to entrepreneurs is to be prepared to work, be organized, consistent with the product and with good customer service and to be creative so as to offer a unique product.
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GMR Transcription Services
Interview with Leigh Kersh by Arlina Palacios, 2010, "Interview no. 1490," Institute of Oral History, University of Texas at El Paso.