The world of Gloria Foster: Gloria grew up in East Baltimore in the 60’s where she attended Eastern High School. Growing up, she lived in various locations throughout the city, including 28th St., Loch Raven Blvd, Bradford Street in Oliver, and then eventually to the Northwood area with her mom. She had three boys, who are now men. Although she has had many jobs including manufacturing jobs, she has mostly worked for herself, as an entrepreneur. She is an inventor, and has also had many businesses including mold crafting, cab owner, beauty salon, and even a store on Bradford, here in Oliver. She lives in Oliver in an apartment owned by her eldest son. “I’ve been here for 15 years now, and still counting…” In her view, she was down and out and had to find something for herself. “I prayed and I prayed, and the lord came on board. I used to do out of control things with my life…now I listen. I achieved a lot and, I lost a lot.”
“I now have a new life”, says Gloria, “working to make great changes.” Just by taking a look around her neighborhood and finding work, she took what she knew and tried to achieve from there. “I live in a new world now. People need change. I am trying my best to help bring [about] change.” Gloria has a mobile mini-store. She built her own wooden carts and she wants to teach young men and women how to become entrepreneurs, and to perhaps run their own mini-store!
She wants to empower young people so that they can be self- sufficient, and be able to work in their own neighborhoods. “My goal is to bring back ownership. I have always worked hard for others, but even harder for myself.” Gloria sells all types of goods like chips, cereal, detergent, etc., in her mini-store; but, she also envisions selling fresh food from her mobile mini-store, or out of her recently purchased mobile truck in the very near future. She is usually stationed at the corner of Aisquith and Federal Street. If you are out and about in the neighborhood, take a slight detour and visit Gloria’s Mini Store, and give Gloria a yell and say, howdy neighbor! She is an amazing person, and great to talk to. Her big, bright and beautiful smile is hard to miss!
Q&A for Gloria:
Q. What do you like/love most about Oliver?
A. I love the fact that most of my family is here.
Q. What change would you most like to see in your neighborhood?
A. I want to see that businesses in the community invest more in the residents and in the wellbeing of the community. That’s what I hope to do with Gloria’s Mini-Store.
Q. If there was one word that you would use to describe yourself, what would it be?
We want to know more about you, my neighbor. We’d love to hear our neighbors’ stories in this Howdy Neighbor series. Tell us about you. Just send us a brief message, and someone will be in touch. We’ll see you in the community!