The Vill-age: A movement to bring a café and culinary incubator to the economically and socially disadvantaged neighborhoods of Washington DC
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)
SHOUT OUTS & RESOURCES:
- The Vill-age Website
- The Vill-age GoFundMe Page
- The Vill-age Instagram
- Urban Turf article on delivery robots
- Life Asset
- Shout-out to Maketto!
- DC Greens
- Union Market
- Shop Made in DC
- Penny Brew
- Big Bear Café
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