Atlanta based creative entrepreneur and community planner, Quianah Upton has been actively working to provide a greater awareness around food justice since 2013, when she founded her initiative Nourish In Black (formerly known as #ChopItUpATL). Using floral artistry and interior design, Upton is known for curating thoughtful events including dinner parties and brunches which have included panel-based dialogues, performances and of course delicious and healthy food. Her events have played a critical role in shedding light on local farming, healthy food options and gentrification, subjects she felt passionately about because of her own experience growing up in a food desert.
“I have firsthand experience with food injustice, spending part of my childhood in a food insecure neighborhood in South Florida,” Upton reveals in her GoFundMe appeal for donations to contribute to her next venture, Nourish Botanica, the local greenhouse eatery she’s building in partnership with culinary director Jerome Kendrick. “Nourish In Black highlights Atlanta’s food justice organizations and the farm community. Artful healing through nourishment is central to every event I’ve ever created. I have organized twenty four dinner parties with facilitated conversations focusing on food justice and art.”
Upton’s Collective Impact Dinners, hosted from 2018-2019, focused on fundraising for local black-led food justice organizations. She is also the co-creator of the Simmer Down Picnic series launched in 2016, bringing over two thousand people together and supporting thirty eight budding entrepreneurs such as Two Dough Girls and 95th St Tacos. In 2019 Upton also launched the Friends and Neighbors Day Fest, bringing together fifteen hundred people to encourage marginalized people to heal while playing in green spaces. Her next venture, Nourish Botanica is a greenhouse eatery slated to launch in late 2021, as a space for sustainable green entertaining and gathering that supports the local food, art and agriculture ecosystem.
Upton and Kendrick are currently seeking donations from the local community in order to purchase the space for their proposed business. Plans for the the eatery include service of Caribbean and Southern deli-style vegan offerings by day, as well as both public and private evening events. In addition to serving food, Nourish Botanica will also operate as a nursery, selling a variety of houseplants, flowers and herbs, as well as offering gardening education and services through our farm partners. At our Botanica Bar, we will provide health and wellness through blends of flowers and herbs grown in our greenhouse in teas, juices and mocktails with creative mixology.