Paul’s Place, a longstanding nonprofit service provider in Southwest Baltimore, has launched construction of Groundwork Kitchen, a new, 15,000-square foot culinary arts training facility and restaurant located on Pigtown’s Main Street. Paul’s Place has been a fixture in the Pigtown community for over 30 years, providing hot meals, a food pantry, a nurses clinic, clothing, showers, laundry services, peer recovery, support groups, and other resources for those in need. With the launch of Groundwork Kitchen, Paul’s Place is working collaboratively with Catalyst Kitchens, a national non-profit, to create a food service social enterprise that will train and prepare young adults for employment and incorporate a 150 seat restaurant (open for lunch and dinner) and a catering business.
NIIF provided Paul’s Place with $2 million in bridge financing for the project, which complemented New Markets Tax Credit equity, a leveraged loan from Enterprise Community Loan Fund, and support from the State of Maryland, Baltimore City, and support from the Weinberg Foundation and other donors. The project is expected to create over 100 construction jobs and 13 full time positions, while providing training for more than 70 individuals through its programs.