(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser, the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED), and Capital Impact Partners announced that $500,000 in Nourish DC Grants were awarded to 13 local BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) owned food businesses to support the development of a more equitable food ecosystem in the District. The Nourish DC Collaborative (Nourish DC) was created by the Bowser Administration in 2021 to support the growth of locally-owned small food businesses in communities underserved by grocery and other food amenities.
“When people in our community step up to fill gaps, to bring much-needed resources to our neighborhoods, we want to support them,” said Mayor Bowser. “Nourish DC is an example of how we can support our small food business owners and work together to create new employment opportunities and thriving neighborhoods.”
The thirteen new grant awardees include:
- Africa Kitchen LLC, doing business as (dba) Open Crumb (Ward 8)
- Blu December, dba KFresh (Ward 8)
- Constituent Services Worldwide Public Benefit Corporation (Ward 6)
- Cooking With Patrice LLC, dba Tae-Gu Kimchi (Ward 5)
- DYD Trading LLC / Elmira Market (Ward 8)
- The Fresh Food Factory (Ward 8)
- The Gaston Group, dba Kitchen Savages (Ward 8)
- Green Fish LLC, dba Fight Juice (Ward 5)
- Inspire DMV Hospitality LLC (Ward 8)
- Marty’s Food and Catering (Ward 8)
- Oh-Mazing Food (Ward 5)
- SouthEats LLC (Ward 7)
- Visionary Management Association, LLC dba Aurora Market (Ward 1)
All thirteen grant awardees are locally-owned businesses mainly operating in priority Wards 5, 7, and 8. All of these local food businesses are owned by people of color and several are owned by women. The awardees also represent a wide variety of businesses within the food sector— from a culinary school, corner grocery stores, catering, restaurants, a farmers’ market vendor, a packaged goods processor, and online snack business.
“Mayor Bowser is committed to supporting our residents and helping them fulfill their dreams of opening a business and creating jobs for their community,” said Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development John Falcicchio. “We know that many of our local BIPOC-owned food businesses need additional funding to grow and scale their businesses. This much-needed funding will not only support an equitable food system in DC, but also sustain small and local businesses during these tough economic times and help them grow.”
The Bowser Administration has awarded over $4.5M in funding to Capital Impact Partners (CIP) – part of the Momentus Capital family of organizations – to serve as the Nourish DC program administrator. CIP manages a collaborative of six other local community development financial institution (CDFI) partners providing grants, loans, and technical assistance. Each of the 13 grant awardees will receive technical and loan assistance to support their businesses all year-round through CIP.
In the first round of grant funding in 2022, Nourish DC provided $400,000 in grants to nine BIPOC-owned food businesses in Wards 5, 7, and 8. Seven of the awardees were women-owned businesses. This latest grant round is funded by both DMPED and the Bainum Family Foundation. Nourish DC has supported the disbursement of loans totaling $14.5 million, and more than 200 businesses have received one-on-one or cohort-based technical assistance.
“The Nourish DC Collaborative continues to work together to bring more food access and economic development to disinvested communities within the city,” said Alison Powers, director of Economic Opportunities for Capital Impact Partners. “DC residents not only want to have access to food and services near their homes, but they also want to start businesses and work in the neighborhoods they live in and feel connected to. The Nourish DC Collaborative model allows food businesses to access multiple financial and technical assistance providers to help their businesses pivot to face new challenges and opportunities.”
“The Nourish DC grant will help sustain us at a time when we are dealing with major price hikes, employee retention, and surging transportation and delivery prices,” said Keisha Cofield of KFresh. “These funds will help us to continue to expand our fresh food delivery to seniors in Ward 8 and help keep our employees on payroll instead of sending them home or reducing their hours.”
The District offers other major funding opportunities to support local food businesses, such as the Food Access Fund (FAF) Grant. The FAF increases equitable access to fresh, healthy, and affordable food by securing grocery stores, and restaurants; supporting existing small businesses; attracting new businesses; increasing the District’s tax base; creating new job opportunities for District residents; and transforming designated emerging commercial corridors into thriving and inviting neighborhood centers, with priority given to locations in Ward 7 or Ward 8.
To learn more about other available grants to improve food access in the District visit, obviouslydc.com