Regenerative Capital

Bridge Loan For Regenerative Food Venue

by Woodberry Kitchen
Bridge Loan For Regenerative Food Venue

Woodberry Kitchen is evolving its popular Baltimore restaurant into an event space dedicated to hosting locally-sourced food experiences.

Project Summary
  • Location: Baltimore, MD
  • Products: Events Value added/CPG
  • Loan Amount: $243,700
  • Loan Term: 3 months
  • Interest Rate: 6.50% APR
  • Repayments Begin: 1 month after disbursement


Woodberry Kitchen is a regenerative restaurant and locavore dining experience in Baltimore, Maryland, owned and operated by James Beard Award-winning chef Spike Gjerde. From its beginnings 15 years ago, Woodberry has always been focused on sourcing as much of their ingredients as possible from nearby producers. By buying directly, Woodberry drives over $1M in sales annually for sustainable and regenerative food producers, creating a ripple of local economic impact throughout the region.

Use of Funds

Woodberry Kitchen is seeking a loan from Steward for equipment and infrastructure improvements that will allow them to complete renovations on a 120-seat event space (with an intimate 30-seat restaurant). The transition to an event-based model comes as diners are spending more on food-focused events and less on eating out at restaurants. And events can be far more predictable with some events booked out well over a year in advance. 

Regenerative & Sustainable Practices

Woodberry Kitchen started with the question, “What is the best way to feed ourselves?”, and has been led by this philosophy since it opened in 2007. Driven by an awareness that commodity agriculture was a major source of pollution in the Chesapeake Bay, Woodberry began working with growers around Baltimore/DC and moving the restaurant in the direction of a locally-driven cuisine. Today, business continues to be rooted in practices that minimize environmental degradation while maximizing returns to farmers and food producers throughout the region. This includes:

  • Source ingredients—only buy fish and shellfish from local waters; pastured beef, pork, and poultry; locally-grown and -milled small grains and cooking oils; in-house production of canned goods and other shelf-stable products; local sources of sweetness (honey, maple, sorghum); and, crucially, to exclude products of GMO/commodity/industrial monocultures.

  • Make $1m+ in economic impact to regional producers by buying direct from over 100 Mid-Atlantic farms and waterways—from Moon Valley Farm to Keepwell Vinegar.

  • Pay fair & equitable wages and benefits to staff, promoting pride in work, professional development, and low turnover.

  • Waste-stream management includes not only separating compostables but also oyster shells, coffee grounds, recyclables, and oil for biofuel.

  • Prove that buying locally and direct is feasible to the catering industry at-large (which is notoriously bad at local sourcing)

Photo Credit: Scott Suchman

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