Gravitas is an innovative Modern American restaurant by Chef Matt Baker. Sourcing products from local farms and waters, Gravitas highlights the abundant resources of the Chesapeake. By providing seasonal, delicious, thoughtfully-prepared food from around our region, we hope to inspire diners to pay closer attention to each meal and each other, in order to further strengthen the fabric of each experience.
In the kitchen, Chef Matt will create an atmosphere of learning and individual development. Believing that the stronger his cooks become, the more possibilities and higher level of cooking we can achieve at Gravitas. The Company will work tirelessly to raise awareness of important local food trends and concerns, to include not only ‘green’ sustainable food practices, but also local childhood food insecurity and nutrition. We intend to assist the local DC community with setting up community gardens, empowering local farmers markets to expand and continuing to partner with valuable companies that share our beliefs.
According to Ancient Roman virtues and beliefs, Gravitas denotes piety, dignity, responsibility and earnestness. With solemnity and importance, we pledge to treat ingredients and the local community with respect and integrity. Through food service, hospitality and community outreach, we pledge to continuously learn, improve and teach with a sense of importance of the matter at hand.
The aim of our Kickstarter campaign is to get some additional help with raising the necessary funds to make our dream a reality. The funds raised by this campaign will be used to pay initial start-up costs related to our greenhouse bar and urban garden. Having the funds to do the garden build-out upon the opening of Gravitas will allow us to work more sustainably in the kitchen (can you get a lower carbon footprint?), host private events in our rooftop greenhouse bar and employ some additional folks in our operations (hopefully those with green thumbs).
Even if you’re not able to contribute, if you could help us out by sharing the Kickstarter campaign with your family and friends, we would be eternally grateful. The more people who know about it, the better chance we have of succeeding! Thank for your time and we look forward to seeing you at Gravitas!
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Gravitas will be operating in the Ivy City neighborhood of Washington, D.C. and will truly embrace the "farm to table" movement with our rooftop garden. Our urban farm and greenhouse will accommodate raised garden beds, innovative hydroponic towers and a rainwater collection system. Chef Matt has teamed up with a local farmer and gardener who will bring his passion and expertise to the Gravitas team.
Our neighborhood is filled with like-minded, small business entrepreneurs (who also love great food and drinks!) and is emerging as one of the fastest growing areas in the region. With Gravitas, we hope to maintain Ivy City's unique charm and will work towards fostering a deep devotion to our community.
We seek to encourage sustainability practices, cultivate long-term economic growth for our small business partners, and foster a supportive and collaborative atmosphere. With Chef Matt's involvement in local charities, Gravitas will provide professional culinary training and opportunities at no cost to local residents and students. In fact, a big part of Gravtias' mission is paying it forward.
Amazingly-delicious, beautifully-plated food? Yes please. Gravitas' innovative fine-dining adventure will never feel stuffy or formal. The team at Gravitas has a palpating vigor for life and is thrilled to cater each guest experience to your individual uniqueness. The remarkable, quirky and peculiar are always welcome.
What sets Chef Matt and the Gravitas concept apart is the consistent passion for cuisine, hospitality and all things local. The experience of food and dining always comes first. It's always been Chef Matt's goal to have his own restaurant - something that is truly the culmination of his ideals, travels, and hopes for the future. Now is the time that can perfectly be achieved. Chef Matt didn't want to try for it too soon when he was still wanting for industry experience, but also not wait too long and leave this amazing opportunity on the table. Ivy City is the neighborhood and DC is finally home.
Growing up in Houston, Texas, he assisted with preparing cookies and pies with his Grandmother, which led to an enthusiastic enrollment at Johnson & Wales University in Miami, Florida. After doing the industry rounds in some of the best restaurants in South Beach, in 2009, he travelled to Singapore as the opening Executive Chef at Krish. It was at Krish that Chef Matt began making a name for himself in the kitchen, being named by Time as "The Country's Hottest Chef".
Chef Matt has worked alongside some of DC's great Chefs including Robert Wiedmaier and Brian McBride.Throughout the years, Chef Matt has won numerous accolades and has been recognized globally for his cooking. In 2015, Zagat named Chef Matt in its first ever D.C. Top 30 Under 30.
Chef Matt's approach to food is pretty simple. Thoughtfully-prepared, locally-sourced deliciousness. Paying homage to both old school and innovative techniques, his plating and flavor combinations are unique and tasty. His food could be described as New American or Modern American, which essentially means a blank canvas... and we like it that way. Chef Matt values his relationships with local purveyors and commits to work with only the best food suppliers across the Chesapeake.
We've tried to put a range of rewards available during our campaign in order to appeal to as many people as possible. That being said, we appreciate feedback! We'd love to hear from you if you'd like us to add additional rewards that may interest you.
Risks and challenges
Opening an ambitious restaurant in an underserved community is not without risk. The largest challenges we face are not exclusive to the restaurant industry and include the potential of lower than anticipated foot traffic, leading to lower than expected sales. Our sales volume and traffic may be adversely affected by, among other things, the economic downturn nationally or regionally; changes in consumer demographics; or the constraint or downturn of investment in our Ivy City neighborhood. However, based on our understanding of the market and the positive press we've already received from the Gravitas concept, we are confident our team will be able to manage these risks.
Our success depends in part upon our ability to attract, train and retain a sufficient number of quality team members, who understand and appreciate our culture and are able to represent our brand effectively and establish credibility with our customers. Any failure to meet our staffing needs or any material increases in turnover rates could have an adverse effect on our business. This risk is standard across the restaurant industry. Based on our inclusive, welcoming, hospitable culture, as well as Chef Matt's exuberance and ability to train and mentor, we are confident our team will be able to manage these risks.
These risks are only mitigated by our community's belief in our ability, which is why crowdsourcing through Kickstarter is so important in bringing this project to life.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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