Career Image Solutions (CIS) is a Human Resources consulting company with the mission to develop the professional lives of career seekers, small business owners, and students— particularly for women, people of color, and those who may be underserved or underrepresented. CIS is directly connected to and supports the community, as staff regularly host free workforce development workshops. The organization also supports and partners with local area non-profits such as Black Professional Men, Inc., Give Life, Inc, and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). One hundred percent of its staff are people of color and from disadvantaged neighborhoods. As a company that is working towards Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), Small Business Enterprise (SBE), and Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB) certifications, one of its main goals is to bring seniors to work, as well as to train workforce members in the ALICE categories. By winning $10,000, CIS would be able to obtain the necessary software, technology, and equipment to train these professionals properly and effectively.
Peabody Heights Brewery strives to be a welcoming place where people can build relationships, be part of a larger community, and have a good time. They opened in 2012 as a contract brewery and served as an incubation space for nascent breweries. They were inspired to open the taproom as a community-driven space and begin brewing their own beers a few years later. They are active in community events and initiatives like Abell Street Fair and Waverly Main Street. Peabody knows the value of clean water – it’s a key ingredient to good beer after all! Improving the health of the Baltimore Harbor is a value for them. They’ve added three Trash Wheel-related beers to support the Healthy Harbor Initiative. So far they’ve donated over $30,000 in proceeds to keep the wheels running and the harbor clean through their Waterfront Partnership. They’ve brewed “Pride” and “Black is Beautiful” beers to donate proceeds in support of LGBTQIA youths and racial equity, respectively. They support local non-profits with in-kind and monetary donations – even hosting a fundraiser for Baltimore Green Space and the 29th Street Community Center. Additionally, Peabody hats and pennants are chain-stitched by a Black-owned business just eight blocks away. Their tap handles are crafted in East Baltimore. Their contracts are all with Baltimore-based businesses. If they were to win, the funds would be invested in capital improvements to expand the taproom to serve more people and to make an even larger impact on the community.
Pierpoint Restaurant is a small restaurant nestled in a city townhouse in the heart of Fells Point. It opened in 1989 and serves modern Maryland dishes as well as eclectic world cuisines. Pierpoint has been hosting award-winning cooking classes for children and adults— including inner-city kids from St. Francis Neighborhood Center— since 2002. It’s also been a long-time representative for the Ravens at the annual Taste of the NFL, as well as a partner to many local charities including Our Daily Bread and Meals on Wheels. During the pandemic, Pierpoint began participating in “Heart for the Park”, a project which has served 20,000+ meals to first responders, teachers, the homeless/jobless, and those who have lost loved ones to COVID-19. Due to a storm last year, Pierpont suffered damages to its roof and hasn’t been able to open since. The $10,000 prize would help with necessary repairs so they can get back to doing what they do best: feeding the community and teaching kids how to cook.
State Fare is a restaurant that prides itself on providing great, local state fare, showcasing the best food and drink Maryland has to offer. Their name signifies their focus on great local food and drink, but they also support local vendors and artists. They’ve formed partnerships with several local small businesses, such as Gracefully Coffee Roasters and Ellicott City Sauce Co., for their specialty items. Education and the youth are very important to them. They are proud sponsors of St. Mark, Mt. St. Joe, and UMBC athletics. While they support the students, they also support the teachers by providing teacher breakfasts periodically in the community. They’ve hosted fundraising nights and donated sales to various schools. Throughout the pandemic, they ensured that every child in the community had access to food they may have been deprived of while schools were closed. They made bagged lunches available to any child at no cost. While shut down during the start of the pandemic, they provided free delivery to customers. They supported frontline workers by providing meals to several hospitals and mass vaccination sites to show appreciation. Since 2019, they’ve been the Catonsville Fourth of July celebration sponsor. When the events were canceled due to the pandemic, they arranged a surprise, private fireworks demonstration to keep the community tradition to commemorate the 75th anniversary. If State Fare wins the $10,000, they would use the money to support their staff and rebuild the restaurant family that they, unfortunately, lost due to the pandemic.
The Broken Plate Co. creates art and jewelry from recycled, broken, sentimental china. As a lifelong resident of Baltimore City, the owner was always charmed by the yellow salt boxes. In 2020, when the salt boxes did not get picked up, the owner feared that the city had given up on the program. So, she decided to decorate one with the words SALT BOX, cut from recycled china to the front. She tweeted the makeover and was elated to get a reply from the Department of Transportation saying they loved it and challenged other artists to make one too. What followed was some “Baltimore Magic.” From December to April, 76 other artists joined in decorating more than 200 salt boxes across the city. The Broken Plate’s owner purchased and painted more than 50 boards for local artists to use. Beyond spreading joy, she’s helped to ensure that the program will continue. In fact, when they return next fall, they’ll be mapped to help with maintenance and filling and will also showcase artist information! She’s created a coloring sheet for local children to design their dream salt box and plans to make a few of them in the fall. If The Broken Plate were to win the contest, they would buy supplies to make that happen and buy materials to prepare panels for artists who are intimidated by the construction part of the project. The funds would also be used to find a larger workspace as the owner has outgrown the studio.