2Armadillos makes crispy roasted chickpeas. The founders, Jimmy and Greg, started this company because they wanted to make healthy eating easier for busy people on the go. Jimmy is a personal trainer and certified nutritional consultant who has had success in sustainable real estate development before moving on to focus on making the world a healthier place. Greg is a doctor in New York City who invented these snacks when he was a hungry medical student and realized it would be selfish to keep this delicious creation to himself. Together, they’re working to make the world a healthier and more sustainable place, one crispy chickpea at a time.
Sweetgreen, the organic salad chain that is the brain child of three Georgetown grads, has received $25 Million in investments from Revolution Growth. Sweetgreen not only promotes good food, local food, and tasty food, but also encourages a healthy, local lifestyle. As such, we at Union Kitchen would like to congratulate Sweetgreen on their new investments and can not wait to see what future innovations Sweetgreen will bring.
Suzanne Simon and Bettina Stern
What We Do: Pop-up at local farmers and flea markets and occasional indoor locations around the city where we feature handmade market tacos that are seasonally inspired, mostly plants. Favorites include: mushroom with feta, creamy potato and chard, garlicky kale, and roasted squash with chiles.
Food Foray: Our friends would ask for cooking advice so we started Loulies.com to pass along tips and recipes on how to shop and what to cook at home. From there, our blog grew and we began working with farmers markets, which inspired us to launch Chaya.
What We Have Learned: To trust our instincts, that it is important to pay your employees well, food can be visually beautiful without being pretentious, buying locally and responsibly-grown vegetables is not more expensive than mass-produced, social media is super important.
Kitchen Culture: You don’t have to act like a guy to be taken seriously as a chef in the kitchen, but women do tend to have to prove themselves more.
What We Love: The creative side of producing a seasonal menu and working with our farmers.
Performance Review: Chaya launched in May at the White House Farmers Market. Never did we expect the lines, support from media and quantities of vegetables that would have to be prepped. Let’s just say things are going well.
What’s Next: More farmers markets, occasional private parties, and salon dinners to raise interest in potential permanent locations. We just looked at a space in Georgetown.