BALTIMORE — A group of young business owners have expanded their services with help from the Food Project.
Giving children and young adults a chance to express themselves while earning money is the mission of The Grind in Southwest Baltimore.
It is a church transformed into a restaurant and a business run by young entrepreneurs. The Grind, located in Carrollton Ridge, allows a group of 16-24 year olds to start their own business while learning real-life lessons.
One side of the building is The Grind Soul Food restaurant, where every Thursday from 4-7 p.m. dinner, dessert, and sides are sold.
“The food we had to offer was last, like what we were going to sell, we got it all. So we all got soul food just because we’re in the heart of Baltimore, which will be famous around here said Tyree Johnson, chef at The Grind Soul Food restaurant.
All items on the menu are part of everyone’s business and when added together make up a meal. The group must use its profits to stock up, cook and clean up afterwards.
And since they’ve only been opened eight times so far, there hasn’t been much revenue yet.
Johnson says they’ve expanded the hours on some Fridays in hopes of changing that.
“The first two times we weren’t earning enough and we were spending more than we were earning. So I had to learn that you have to pay to play, it doesn’t matter as long as people know you’re ramping it up. up,” Johnson said.
The Grind provides teachable moments throughout the process, giving the band a chance to see what it’s like in the hospitality industry.
“Me, I’m just here selling t-shirts trying to get out of the way trying to stay off the streets,” said Travon Rush, owner of DUMMY t-shirts.
It’s not just the restaurant that attracts customers, The Grind also offers clothing and merchandise. Rush has a t-shirt business called DUMMY and a station set up outside to repair bikes, he credits his cousin for the idea.
“One day he texted me and said, do you know what you do with your life? I’m like no, he’s like, actually, I got a business for you. He’s like DUMMY so I’m like what that means and he’s like don’t underestimate my mojo,” Rush said.
They can each run their own business, but it takes a team to be where they are today.
“We honestly motivate each other, like we’re pushing each other. If someone’s having a bad day, like I’m not going to do this today, we tell that person you’re going to do it today, like you’re going to do it. We push each other to do more,” said Tyshae Jennings, owner of Humble and Grind.
The apparel and merchandise side of the grind is open daily and they are looking to expand.