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Imagine a black owned space with Caribbean vibes and the welcoming feeling of the South, plant based eats, good music and beautiful houseplants & flowers for sale. Imagine a space that brought together the best of black culture, combined with the healthiest local food around. Imagine a space that brought Black Healing and Joy to life. Welcome to Nourish Botanica.
Nourish Botanica is a greenhouse eatery slated to launch in late 2021 (post COVID) in the South, and aims to be a space for sustainable green entertaining and gathering that supports the local food, art and agriculture ecosystem. We are asking our community to donate funds so we can purchase land to build this space.
The eatery will serve Caribbean and Southern casual plant based offerings by day, because we believe food is medicine, and open into the evening for public and private events. Nourish Botanica will also operate as a nursery, selling a variety of houseplants, flowers and herbs, as well as offering gardening education and services through our farm partners. At our Botanica Bar, we will provide health and wellness through blends of flowers and herbs grown in our greenhouse in teas, juices and mocktails with creative mixology. We will rent out our greenhouse and garden event space for local chef popups, intimate like-minded events, dinners, engagement parties, art shows, and of course, weddings. We have a long-held passion for honoring and protecting culture through creating spaces to celebrate it and now we need your help in bringing our own space, Nourish Botanica, to life!
Our version of sanctuary that we've created over the past 8 years under one umbrella!
Priority 1: Greenhouse/nursery, eatery, garden event space, public facing events
Priority 2: Gardening education and services, Botanica Bar, private events, workshops, popups
Priority 3: Will include the addition of a retail space: flower arrangements, herbal products, etc; incubator program
Who We Are and What We've Done
My name is Quianah Upton and I am an Atlanta based Caribbean and Southern food justice advocate, artist, creative entrepreneur, community planner and budding healer. Through my initiative, Nourish In Black (formerly known as #ChopItUpATL), I orchestrate beautiful, healing, dialogue-based gatherings. Through this platform, I seek to honor storytelling, art, and cultural foodways.
I have firsthand experience with food injustice, spending part of my childhood in a food insecure neighborhood in South Florida. In 2013, I launched an art and retail business that evolved to include a food justice based event initiative, Nourish In Black. This initiative highlights Atlanta’s food justice organizations and the farm community. Using the artistry of floral and interior design, I began to create dinner parties and brunches under my brand, featuring panel-based dialogue surrounding art, gentrification, food sovereignty and justice issues. Artful healing through nourishment is central to every event I’ve ever created.
As of today, I have organized twenty four dinner parties with facilitated conversations focusing on food justice and art. My Collective Impact Dinner’s, hosted from 2018-2019, focused on fundraising for local black-led food justice organizations. I am the co-creator of the Simmer Down Picnic series launched in 2016, bringing over two thousand people together and supporting thirty eight budding entrepreneurs such as Two Dough Girls and 95th St Tacos. Most recently, I launched Friends and Neighbors Day Fest in 2019 bringing together fifteen hundred people to encourage marginalized people to heal while playing in green spaces.
I have also been featured in Creative Loafing , Melanin and Sustainable Style and Politico Magazine.
Maurice Small is a farmer, trainer of farmers, soil alchemist and worm whisperer in Atlanta, Georgia. As an independent consultant, Small cultivates organic food in urban spaces, creates vibrant soil and nurtures youth leadership in local food system development. For more than 25 years, Small has applied his love and appreciation for the earth, a value he received from his parents, to his work of creating meaningful work for new farmers and communities that care about vibrant local food access.
Maurice Small was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio and most recently has invested his energy in food and farmers in the Southeast. As an innovative creator of national models of sustainable food cultivation and distribution. Small is on the cutting edge of transforming our food systems for the better. Maurice was awarded the Organic Pioneer Award by the Rodale Institute in its inaugural year, 2011. Maurice is a founding and active member of the Farmer x Farmer Coalition.
A Black Owned Green Space Dedicated to Health + Wellness
Why This Space Is Important
“Food justice is racial justice. Food and agriculture, like everything in this country, are deeply intertwined with our nation’s entrenched history of slavery and structural racism. Our food system actively silences, marginalizes, and disproportionately impacts people of color, who are also being hardest hit by COVID-19.” - Civil Eats Editors
Also, while cities across the United States have been implementing environmental policies that have led to the rapid growth of green spaces—parks, community gardens, wilderness areas and urban agriculture—public spaces remain contested ground. Many green spaces are often as segregated as our cities, with the barriers keeping black and brown residents from accessing public space being both visible and invisible. As planners, business-people, city leaders, policymakers, and residents, how can we confront the legacies of violence and exclusion, support and empower those directly affected, and create safe and accessible places that offer social, economic, and recreational opportunities for all?
There is both food disparity and disparity within our green spaces for our black community. We hope to become a destination that represents a beacon of change for both of these injustices through creating conversation, sharing stories, educational programming and providing a platform for leadership in the fight against these injustices.
According to Food Well Alliance’s 2017 Baseline Report , one in four metro Atlanta families with children are food insecure, three out of four metro Atlanta adults do not consume the recommended 2 1/2 cups of fruits and vegetable daily and one in three metro Atlanta adults are obese. These numbers are shameful, but what’s more staggering is how much food is being wasted. “Based on the most recent data available, food residuals makes up 12 percent – or more than 800,000 tons – of the waste sent to Georgia landfills each year, with approximately 48% coming from the greater Atlanta area. This represents the largest single category of solid waste going into Georgia's landfills.” - EPA .
Our community plan is intended as a cross pollinator that continues to invest in the community through a collective impact approach that includes growers, artists, policy makers and corporate partnerships. Nourish In Black will continue to create an opportunities to highlight growers, grassroots food justice organizers, food producers and creative entrepreneurs.
Nourish In Black has raised over $5,000 for grassroots food justice organizations through our dinner parties, and another $2,500 most recently to feed protestors by purchasing from black businesses through our Nourish The People popup, but it's not just about dollars, it's about important dialogue and visual representation.
With a physical space we can continue into our eighth year by bringing even more people together for dinners, brunches and life changing conversation. We can continue education on food apartheid, fundraising for food justice organizations and decolonizing the food system by returning to our ancestral knowledge. With our own space, we would finally be the owners of our own narrative while creating an amazing gathering space for our Atlanta community to assemble for change.
Built into our business model, is the ability to donate the space to non-profit organizations and community members for like-minded events or gatherings by application on a monthly basis.
Why We Need Help
Your donation will go towards buying land and then building out the entire business in phases to include:
Buying land- $75,000
Hiring and labor for architect/contractor to build greenhouse - $25,000
Building materials for infrastructure of greenhouse and eatery - $30,000
Commercial Equipped Kitchen Facility - $35,000
Purchasing flowers, herbs, trees, plants and seeds from local farmers - $8,000
Fridge for flowers and herbs -$10,000
Building and purchasing FF+E (furniture, fixtures and equipment) for the space and design - $10,000
HVAC/Plumbing - $15,000
Renderings by Philip Davis
Every dollar you donate will be used for this black owned healing space. We’re asking for $60,000 to start, but as you can see, it will cost A LOT more than that to get us up, running and stable.
*Land donations and donations of property are greatly welcome!
Support us by donating today and please share far and wide.
Please see OUR WEBSITE FOR FULL DETAILS ON EVERYTHING!
Amount updated on 9/13/20 to cover GoFundMe fees.
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