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Partnering with ThinkTable chef Jerome Kendrick, Atlanta-based farmer Maurice Small, and Farm Awry’s Stephanie Jansen, Upton is still in the earlier stages of planning. She told Eater she wants to open in South Atlanta near the Old Atlanta Prison Farm, a food-insecure area.
To build up the property, Upton launched a GoFundMe campaign in the beginning of July to raise $60,000 to build the property.
“Imagine a space that brought together the best of black culture, combined with the healthiest local food around,” the campaign reads. “Imagine a space that brought Black Healing and Joy to life. Welcome to Nourish Botanica.”
The project is laid out in three phases. It starts with establishing a greenhouse and plant nursery with the restaurant. At this first phase, they will have public-facing events. Phase two includes more educational services along with private events and an added Botanica Bar. Eventually, the space will add a retail element that specializes in herbal products and flower arrangements.
With roots in the Caribbean and Florida, Upton has taken on a number of roles as an entrepreneur, social justice advocate, artist, and food advocate among other things. Spending part of her childhood in Deerfield Beach, Florida, a food-insecure neighborhood, she founded #ChopItUpATL in 2014, which eventually became Nourish in Black.
Nourish in Black is a dialogue-based platform that finds and shares stories about food and culture. They host events around food issues such as sovereignty, sustainability, and waste and promote artful healing. They have recently raised $2,500 to feed protestors through a Nourish the People pop-up to bolster dialogue and visual representation.