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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!
Phase 1: Greenhouse/nursery, eatery, garden event space, public facing events
Phase 2: Gardening education and services, Botanica Bar, private events, workshops, popups
Phase 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.
Jerome Kendrick is an undisciplined chef, creative and instigator hailing from East Atlanta, Georgia. Kendrick is a self-taught cook using ancestral DNA and Southern Appalachian foodways as method for the creation and development of his cultural and culinary practice.
Kendrick has worked in many capacities over the years including Dulce Vegan Bakery as Lead Line Cook, Cultured South as Taproom Manager and Chef, Pecan Milk Cooperative as Worker-Owner and Board Member and currently as founder and culinary director of ThinkTable Atlanta.
Kendrick founded Think Table as a means of highlighting and amplifying the work food justice heroes were doing in their communities through bread-breaking and brainstorming. Since its inception in 2017, ThinkTable has partnered with other grassroots organizations in the sovereignty movement including Lead to Life (for The People’s Supper), Grow Where You Are, Aglanta and Nourish In Black (formerly known as #ChopItUpATL). Kendrick’s goal is to encourage a fundamental shift in how we cultivate our food, the ways we prepare it for our tables and the collective stories we create as we share meals with our neighbors. ThinkTable founder Jerome Kendrick, is the culinary director of Nourish Botanica.
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 . ThinkTable’s plan is to rescue and use surplus produce from local farms and food food producers in the Nourish Botanica kitchen and as artisanal canned and preserved products to be sold at Nourish Botanica, thereby diverting the food from being wasted.
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 in partnership with ThinkTable will create an incubator for 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
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.
- Lillie An
- naomi mack
- Brittany Priselac
- Melissa Houston