Soilful City: we view farming not only as a way to cultivate food and sovereignty for communities, but as a way to heal and rebuild our souls

LIVE at The Line Hotel in Adams Morgan in partnership with Full Service Radio... 

The Tidbit, brought to you by Cureate, digests this region’s small business landscape through food and beverage entrepreneurship. Tune in for trending new Tidbits at the top of the show, and then live interviews with business owners throughout the DC & Baltimore Metro Areas. Each week show host Kim Bryden will intertwine socio-cultural context, personal narrative, and business advice at The Tidbit. 

EPISODE 07: SOILFUL CITY — An organization that views farming not only as a way to cultivate food and sovereignty for communities, but as a way to heal and rebuild our souls


A FEW QUOTES:

  • The Racist Housing Policy that Made Your Neighborhood: "One of the most heinous policies was introduced by the creation of the Federal Housing Administration in 1934, and lasted until 1968. Otherwise celebrated for making homeownership accessible to white people by guaranteeing their loans, the FHA explicitly refused to back loans to black people or even other people who lived near black people." 
  • When we look at the creation of this country, it started with the murdering, pillaging of people and taking their land.
  • Land has always been at the foundation of the American empire.
  • There have been barriers since the 1840s for African Americans to build wealth.
  • This land isn't my land, it belongs to its indigenous peoples. 
  • Soilful City uses the principles of Kwanzaa as a guiding philosophy for creating and sustaining healthy neighborhoods. Intertwining these tenets with the wisdom of Mother Nature allows us to use agriculture as way to heal and organize stressed communities. 
  • Healing is important. We're not really taught how to heal. 
  • "How can you let the pain transcend you higher"
  • If you want to have a heart-to-heart conversation, what better place than with the land, birds, sky... 
  • "Connecting History through Flavors" - Pippin Sauce!
  • It's a communal process to produce this hot sauce.
  • You definitely want to hear the story of Horace Pippin (starting at 20:35)
  • I want to tell the story of the community who grew the peppers in your bottle of hot sauce.
  • Project Goal: To use funds towards purchasing of bottles, new labels for brand new product launch — incorporating practices in urban agriculture, community resiliency  (donate! patreon.com/thetidbit).
     

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The Vill-age: A movement to bring a café and culinary incubator to the economically and socially disadvantaged neighborhoods of Washington DC

LIVE at The Line Hotel in Adams Morgan in partnership with Full Service Radio... 

The Tidbit, brought to you by Cureate, digests this region’s small business landscape through food and beverage entrepreneurship. Tune in for trending new Tidbits at the top of the show, and then live interviews with business owners throughout the DC & Baltimore Metro Areas. Each week show host Kim Bryden will intertwine socio-cultural context, personal narrative, and business advice at The Tidbit. 

EPISODE 07: The Vill-age — A movement to bring a café and culinary incubator to the economically and socially disadvantaged neighborhoods of Washington DC


A FEW QUOTES:

  • "We know what it’s like to travel miles to get to the closest grocery store, only to find foods on the brink of expiration. We’ve experienced the difficulty of finding quality jobs in our own neighborhoods, while other areas in our city sustain robust economic growth." 
  • The Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development just hosted a roundtable discussion to focus on retail grocery access, another show on Full Service Radio (Lunch Agenda) zeros in on food justice in DC, and an article I just read on Urban Turf touted the Mayor's plans to add delivery robots to the streets of Wards 7 & 8 to deliver fresh foods. It seems like a lot of different entities are trying to create "solutions" to healthy food access — specifically East of the river. The core mission of your business is to also provide a solution to this challenge. But, that being said, you all aren't just a team of entrepreneurs and business owners... you are also your customer. You have lived this challenge.
  • Our experience being in that, and out of that, [...] has formed this group and the vision of Village itself.
  • Even when we did get food, and it would be spoiled by the next day. The problem of accessibility, affordability, and quality has been a problem from a long time. 
  • Currently Ward 7 & Ward 8 have 3 groceries stores for over 170,000 people. 
  • Ward 8 people have to travel the longest to get to work, and then their paycheck is spent getting to and from work. 
  • It goes beyond bringing access, it's also the education. [...] You have to teach the culture of healthy eating habits. 
  • When you start to grow-up and you see it's not right... especially when you see the after school crowds at the corner store... it doesn't teach them anything. 
  • "This is a movement to address the many social and economic challenges we are facing in our communities."
  • Our major goal is to franchise this across the country in underserved communities. 
  • It's a movement to bring different entrepreneurs together, under one roof. It's a cycle from the community to the community.
  • We want to work with culinary mentorship experts on how to start-up and expand their businesses. 
  • The Village Café [...] has been granted a space at Union Market where we can run the Village concept. 
  • One of the main things is that [entrepreneurs] don't have a roof over their heads, it's only pop-ups. 
  • Everything matters: the 5 senses when you walk into the restaurant, the portions, the cleanliness.
  • Everything you learn so far, you take it and make it better. It's what growth is. 
  • Project Goal: To use funds for start-up costs like business licenses for their new café, and its operations (donate! patreon.com/thetidbit)
     

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This is the second episode of three featuring three entrepreneurs and their projects to be granted the funds raised through this podcast. By donating, YOU will get to vote on which project receives the funds.

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Mera Kitchen Collective: A Food Co-op Focused on the Empowerment of the Baltimore Refugee & Immigrant Community

LIVE at The Line Hotel in Adams Morgan in partnership with Full Service Radio... 

The Tidbit, brought to you by Cureate, digests this region’s small business landscape through food and beverage entrepreneurship. Tune in for trending new Tidbits at the top of the show, and then live interviews with business owners throughout the DC & Baltimore Metro Areas. Each week show host Kim Bryden will intertwine socio-cultural context, personal narrative, and business advice at The Tidbit. 

EPISODE 06: Mera Kitchen Collective — a Food Co-op Focused on the Empowerment of the Baltimore Refugee & Immigrant Community

A FEW QUOTES:

  • "Baltimore has a long history of being a destination for refugees – from people fleeing pogroms in the early 20th century to Soviet refugees in the 1980s and 90s. In fact, Old Bay Seasoning, Baltimore’s iconic spice, was invented by a refugee who had fled Nazi-occupied Germany."
  • The refugee community in Baltimore is such an isolated community. They are not integrated into the larger Baltimore community.
  • "Our policies and systems can create structural barriers that make it harder for some individuals to gain access to resources and opportunities." This is a core tenant of why you created Mera Kitchen.
  • We wanted to create something intentional to overcome these barriers. [...] We wanted to create a structure that [...] focused on empowerment and growth.
  • Pop-up dinners, catering events, coffee ceremony... We focused on Eritrean, Cameroonian, and Syrian cuisine.
  • Hosting a Refugee Community event! Check it out (see image below).
  • People don't want just a handout of assistance, these are really skilled professionals. You want to resume some sort of normal life.
  • Iman, one of our worker-owners, she makes this incredible rice. She has a lot of ways of preparing it, and people want to know the story behind it. [Iman] always says, this is my son's favorite rice. 
  • We [Mera Kitchen Collective] want to use our platform for advocacy.
  • We're hoping in a year or two we can have our own space [...] and that we have both a profit and non-profit side to our business. 
  • The most important part is that we continue to transfer knowledge and information.
  • One of the principles of cooperatives is cooperation amongst cooperatives. 
  • Project Goal: To use funds towards Farmer's Market launch, pay for worker-owners to attend ServSafe classes (donate! patreon.com/thetidbit)
     

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This is the first episode of three featuring three entrepreneurs and their projects to be granted the funds raised through this podcast. By donating, YOU will get to vote on which project receives the funds.

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What is a Co-Op Business, and How Do You Start One?

LIVE at The Line Hotel in Adams Morgan in partnership with Full Service Radio... 

The Tidbit, brought to you by Cureate, digests this region’s small business landscape through food and beverage entrepreneurship. Tune in for trending new Tidbits at the top of the show, and then live interviews with business owners throughout the DC & Baltimore Metro Areas. Each week show host Kim Bryden will intertwine socio-cultural context, personal narrative, and business advice at The Tidbit. 

EPISODE 05: WHAT IS A CO-OP BUSINESS, AND HOW DO YOU START ONE?

A FEW QUOTES:

  • The retail landscape is changing. Amazon acquired Whole Foods Market. Kroger in talks with Alibaba (online marketplace, sometimes compared to Amazon but based in China)... If other retailers can’t compete on convenience or price point, how can one survive? 
  • "TPSS Co-op is a member of National Cooperative Grocers, an organization which includes more than 100 co-ops around the country that work together to optimize resources, strengthen purchasing power, and offer more value to owners."
  • How do you stay connected in a world that wants you to constantly hide behind a screen? Maybe you should consider joining a co-op.
  • Three major economic concepts: LLCs, communism, and cooperative model. 
  • Over a billion people in the world belong to some sort of cooperative, doing trillions of dollars in business, millions are employed by cooperatives. 
  • Many Fortune 500 businesses in the USA are cooperatives and people don't even realize it: Associated Press, Ocean Spray, Organic Valley, Your Credit Union!
  • The first modern cooperative [...] was a basic consumer-owned cooperative (like TPSS) and that became a model that was replicated into many different industries and forms — co-ops owned by consumers, by farmers, by depositors, by business members. 
  • 7 Universal Co-op Principles: [examples] Open and Voluntary Membership, Democratic Economic Control, Economic Information.
  • 1 Person - 1 Share - 1 Vote
  • 7th Co-op Principle: Cooperative amongst Cooperatives
  • Co-ops: Stronger Together
  • The threat of the big — a small business is challenged by a mega-corporation. Sometimes people give up hope that the mom-and-pop owners won't be able to survive. 
  • For a long time, small footprint grocers [...] hung in there by having a group purchasing cooperative. 
  • The efficiencies! Instead of having 20 people placing orders for peanut butter, they can all get it through their co-op. 
  • The reason why co-ops work is that there is some sort of connective tissue other than the business function. 
  • Baby Boomer business owners can't find a buyer (the silver tsunami!) so consider the cooperative business model [...] and have your employees take ownership.
  • Co-ops are created, often, when the market is failing. 
  • Email Rodney with your co-op questions!
     

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We will feature three entrepreneurs and their projects to be granted the funds raised through this podcast. By donating, YOU will get to vote on which project receives the funds.

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Blockchain and Community Banking

LIVE at The Line Hotel in Adams Morgan in partnership with Full Service Radio... 

The Tidbit, brought to you by Cureate, digests this region’s small business landscape through food and beverage entrepreneurship. Tune in for trending new Tidbits at the top of the show, and then live interviews with business owners throughout the DC & Baltimore Metro Areas. Each week show host Kim Bryden will intertwine socio-cultural context, personal narrative, and business advice at The Tidbit. 

EPISODE 04: BLOCKCHAIN AND COMMUNITY BANKING

On this episode, we chat about the ever-present yet elusive topic of BLOCKCHAIN, and how this technology is shaking up food supply chains. Then, we sit down with our guests, Lisa and Annie Hodges, to talk about community banking and the emotions tied to money/wealth creation.

A FEW QUOTES

  • One year anniversary of Cureate Connect! Reach out directly: kim@cureate.co
  • Blockchain is the architecture, the framework, of transactions without a centralized entity -- like a government-backed bank. It’s a public, digital ledger of transactions without sharing personal information about the person receiving or sending the goods or services purchased. Each transaction is tied together, so you can look back at the ledger and see how the money has moved throughout the Blockchain.
  • Someone Figured Out How to Put Tomatoes on a Blockchain
  • Ripe.io’s website reads: [we are] transforming the fresh produce food supply chain by enabling data transparency and transfer from farm to fork to answer what our food is, where has it been and what has happened to it. 
  • Fireside Chat in San Francisco on March 14 with the Director of Food Sol at Babson College, Rachel Greenberger, and Ripe.io — Babson/SF Campus:  135 Main St @ Mission
  • IBM & Walmart Launching Blockchain Food Safety Alliance In China 
  • In order for this to work though, from my understanding, is that you have to have everyone using a digital currency (like Bitcoin) in order to track the exchange of goods at every step. I work with small business owners every day and for most, accounting and the exchange of real money, is an issue. I can’t imagine how rural farmers in China or Indonesia are going to be able to handle keeping up with the exchange of goods via cryptocurrencies. [...] I asked the gentleman who spearheaded the building of IBM and Walmart’s blockchain technology about this… and his response was, well if you want to do business with Walmart you’ll figure it out.
  • Working with high net-worth individuals to transmute their money in more values-alignment containers. 
  • On my journey, I realized my money was put into tobacco, oil and I did not feel good about that. 
  • Money is sitting in banks and mutual funds that are not in alignment with our values.
  • Impact Investing: investing for a purpose other than financial return. 
  • Don't you want to feel good about what you're putting your money into?
  • If you have a bank account, you can be an impact investor.
  • When the baby boomers die and give their wealth to their children (millennials), they will no longer be taxed ($5M-$22M asset class). What happens to that wealth?
  • I went to a conference on blockchain and it was full of tech bros. There were 3 women there.
  • Remittances: transfer of money from diaspora to family members back in their home country.
  • ICOs: like an IPO but with coins/tokens -- not based on dollars, but on equity.
  • Pick a friend or family member to have a conversation about money. The financial system has been set up to be so confusing, it's easy to feel disempowered. But, we have more power than we think. 


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We will feature three entrepreneurs and their projects to be granted the funds raised through this podcast. By donating, YOU will get to vote on which project receives the funds.

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How to Develop Internal and Community Resiliency

LIVE at The Line Hotel in Adams Morgan in partnership with Full Service Radio... 

The Tidbit, brought to you by Cureate, digests this region’s small business landscape through food and beverage entrepreneurship. Tune in for trending new Tidbits at the top of the show, and then live interviews with business owners throughout the DC & Baltimore Metro Areas. Each week show host Kim Bryden will intertwine socio-cultural context, personal narrative, and business advice at The Tidbit. 

EPISODE 03: HOW TO DEVELOP INTERNAL AND COMMUNITY RESILIENCY

"Sometimes when things are falling apart, they may actually be falling into place." In times of uncertainty, whether on a macro or micro level, how do you develop a mindset of growth in the face of adversity — especially as an entrepreneur? We explore strategies for developing internal and macro, local economics-based resiliency with guest Raj Aggarwal, Board Chair of Think Local First.

A FEW QUOTES

  • The Millennial generation has been marked by uncertainty at each period of growth. From 9-11, to the financial collapse, to … trying to… settle down (whatever that means) start a family, save up financially during this chaotic Presidential rule.
  • The “quit rate” is low right now -- which is actually bad. People are less likely to quit their jobs. You want people to feel confident enough in the economy to quit.
  • One of the most important points I want to emphasize around starting a business is actually the mental mind games you play with yourself. You are your boss -- which is great. But you are also the one you let down when you don’t meet your own expectations.
  • Organizational Psychologist Adam Grant suggests that, in the moment when your head is spiraling into a “I could’ve done more / this person is doing more than me / etc” 
    STOP and think about time travel. YES think about turning the clock back 5 years. 
  • Growth Mindset vs. Fixed Mindset on Brain Pickings
  • If you decide to start a business, or have already started a business, take comfort in the fact that you will develop or are developing this agile, growth mindset. Each day you are adapting, iterating, changing and evolving. This skill set will UNDOUBTEDLY continue to help you well into the future. 
  • "Sometimes when things are falling apart, they may actually be falling into place"
  • The best things about how the government is being run today, is bringing back a focus to reliance on the self -- but let's also bring it back to the reliance of our communities. There are people who are coming up with innovative solutions on the ground that have nothing to do with the national government.
  • Local economies don't mean that we don't bring anything from the outside -- we just first look inwards to see what we can create on our own and then on the outside to see how those can fortify it. 
  • The greatest thing I've learned [...] is that when things fall a part, [...] you develop resiliency.
  • [Should we] have a conference on failure?
  • Is Amazon going to contribute to our local economies?
  • For every $100 we spend at a local business, $68 recirculates within the economy.
  • Local businesses are more likely to hire from their own communities; and more likely to have higher wages, and give back in the form of charity.
  • Local ownership means more tax dollars back into the local government.
  • The net worth between a white family and black family in the District is 81x difference.
  • The fact is that by 2044, America will be a predominantly people of color nation - yet there are enormous inequities people of color face [...] if we don't create economic value and advance racial equity by conceiving new products and markets for how our country is changing -- most businesses are going to lose out. There's a huge opportunity. 
  • How are you made up as a business? Who is in ownership?
  • The businesses that have really focused on addressing these issues are succeeding. 
  • People are willing to spend a bit more because they know the person who made it.
  • I see business ownership, and entrepreneurial thinking, as a path to freedom.
     

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We will feature three entrepreneurs and their projects to be granted the funds raised through this podcast. By donating, YOU will get to vote on which project receives the funds.

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Baltimore and Beyond: 2018 Food Trends

LIVE at The Line Hotel in Adams Morgan in partnership with Full Service Radio... 

The Tidbit, brought to you by Cureate, digests this region’s small business landscape through food and beverage entrepreneurship. Tune in for trending new Tidbits at the top of the show, and then live interviews with business owners throughout the DC & Baltimore Metro Areas. Each week show host Kim Bryden will intertwine socio-cultural context, personal narrative, and business advice at The Tidbit. 

EPISODE 02: Baltimore and Beyond: 2018 Food Trends

What are your business goals for the New Year? Do you run a small business, or have dreams to start one? At The Tidbit, we’ve got your back. Each week we drop tidbits of knowledge around starting a small business in the DC/Baltimore metro areas with featured guests. On this episode, food media expert Marisa Dobson joins us to discuss local and national food trends for 2018.

A FEW QUOTES

  • [Grab Mount Olympus Flower tea and the Okinawa] What is the story of this dessert? I found out more about Pichet Ong, the pastry chef for Brothers and Sisters. He is a James Beard nominated pastry chef who previously worked for Jean Georges, a cookbook author, and resident judge on Cake Wars.
  • World Central Kitchen's purpose is to use the power of food to empower communities and strengthen economies.
  • I think it's important for us to see economic development and empowerment as doing something with community as opposed to for community. 
  • We can no longer separate business and purpose. Taking a stand, creating action and putting your dollars into what you believe -- THIS is the movement that has been sparked. 
  • How are you going to create values-oriented action within your business this year? 
  • Why work for yourself and take on that additional responsibility and stress if it's not something you're aligned with?
  • 2018 Food Trend #1: Food Activism
  • I've only ever witnessed this behavior in fine dining establishments [stated simply] it's about power.
  • Being transparent about who is in power, and who is being empowered, is a sentiment we as consumers are taking note.
  • It's not just the tangible money, but the emotional worthiness of money.
  • 2018 Food Trend #2: No-Waste Movement
  • When we're not at home, we're seeking third spaces that is providing a sense of rejuvenation. We are looking for a respite from daily life. Collectively, I think we’re seeking a dining experience that provides more connection, more intimacy.
  • 2018 Food Trend #3: Dining as a Daily Respite
  • A family matriarch, experience is feeling like a part of the family, a part of the community. It's not just nourishing your body, but nourishing your soul.
  • Millennials get a bad wrap for being in their phones, but this movement is very much a reflection of us craving connection. 
  • A big reason I moved to Baltimore is because of the community. 
  • School of Food is a year-long educational curriculum for food & beverage business owners run in partnership with Humanim, a workforce development non-profit in East Baltimore. 
  • 2018 Food Trend #4: Purchasing Dollars Circulating in the Community
  • 2018 Food Trend #5: Baltimoreans Not Just into Pub Food. It's Culinary Creative Mecca!
  • Resourcefulness, Creativity, Collaboration: it fosters a market research opportunity where you can take risks, be bold because the community provides a social safety net, they show-up for you. 
  • My goal for 2018? Improve my block. One thing I'm really passionate about is improving the little bit that I can. Get the word out about the wonderful community and vacant storefronts that are on the main street of Lauraville. 

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Midway through this show, we will feature three entrepreneurs and their projects to be granted the funds raised through this podcast. By donating, YOU will get to vote on which project receives the funds.

That’s right — YOU have the power to put your dollars straight into the local economy by funding these projects. Join us!

The Tidbit Launch at The Line Hotel


LIVE at The Line Hotel in Adams Morgan in partnership with Full Service Radio... 

The Tidbit, brought to you by Cureate, digests this region’s small business landscape through food and beverage entrepreneurship. Tune in for trending new Tidbits at the top of the show, and then live interviews with business owners throughout the DC & Baltimore Metro Areas. Each week show host Kim Bryden will intertwine socio-cultural context, personal narrative, and business advice at The Tidbit. 

Episode 01: Building Community-Based Businesses

In our first episode, we discuss a reading from Fast Company titled: How Two Ex-Googlers Want to Make Bodegas and Mom-and-Pop Corner Stores Obsolete; and talk with our guest, Paul Ruppert, on building community-based businesses in the District.

A few quotes:

  • "Recently we posed this question to the community via Prince of Petworth, a local blog: what are you looking for from your local corner store? What would make you frequent those locations instead of hopping in your car and driving to Walmart or Safeway?"
  • "What power do we have if we believe in main street, if we believe in the small business owner and the idea of the American Dream?"
  • [In reference to a neighbor's comment about an idea for corner store operations] "What a fantastic idea. In fact, that may be my favorite idea of 2017. Other than impeachment, of course."
  • "[Paul Ruppert], you've been a pioneer in identifying and building neighborhood corridors full of food, beverage and culture beginning near the convention center with The Passenger and Warehouse Theatre, and heading north to Columbia Heights and Petworth with Room 11, Petworth Citizen, Upshur Street Books, and traveling south to Anacostia as a Board Member for Anacostia Playhouse. What are the core tenants of identifying a space to open a business?"
  • "When I'm looking to do projects, [...] I look at the neighborhoods and see the history of the neighborhood, and where that neighborhood may be moving." 
  • "Central to what I've done is partnering with people who are passionate and hard-working to develop projects that fill a need in the community."
  • "I love cities because they do change; and there's sadness when the things you love go away, but there's a new energy and vitality to a neighborhood." 
  • "Entrepreneurs have a through-line, whether it's now or 100 years ago or 1,000 years ago, these are adventurous people who see a need that they can fit, there's also a component around not wanting to a have a boss, and they're looking to make a difference."
  • "I'm looking for a couple of key principles off the bat: financial resources (have the money or access to money), experience (their experience, what they have achieved thus far), and the story (what the business is, and is it what the neighborhood needs)."
  • "[Being heart-centered, that fire in your belly is so important]. It's critical because competition is so cut throat right now and if you don't have a story, or reason to be there, you won't stand out from the crowd."
  • Three tips for building a successful foundation as an emerging entrepreneur (listen in to learn more behind these tips):
  1. Hone in on your story
  2. Iterate, pitch and refine your idea/narrative even prior to launch
  3. If opening a brick-and-mortar, learn the soul of the space

 

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Kim Bryden Keeps It Local with Cureate

DC entrepreneur Kim Bryden has taken her decade of experience in the F&B industry and applied it to her startup, Cureate. This platform connects small businesses to local food and beverage providers.

Read more about Cureate CEO's trip to SXSW and Cureate Connect launch on Nibletz: http://www.nibletz.com/usa/dc/kim-bryden-keeps-local-cureate!