Photo Credit: Greenbar
Maryland's Black-Owned Greenbar Is Bringing Healthy Meals To Underserved Communities
Meet Brandon Barksdale and Sharisse Barksdale-Lane, the brother and sister duo behind the fast-casual food concept Greenbar. Launched in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, Greenbar came about due to the co-founders’ frustration with the lack of healthy food options available for takeout and delivery.
The ‘under 40’ pair previously collaborated on several entrepreneurial projects, including a food truck concept based in Washington DC. Now, with Greenbar, they have committed to delivering healthy, fresh, and whole foods to the communities that need it most.
The company soft launched on delivery/curbside platforms on November 2, and officially opened the doors of its flagship restaurant on November 16.
“We want to ensure that clean food is always affordable and accessible, to our community and beyond!” said Brandon and Sharisse. “The goal in opening Greenbar was to provide healthy food options to otherwise underserved communities (as it relates to healthier dining concepts) and address health and other social inequalities. Farm-to-table, clean, accessible and approachable food was our priority.”
The siblings hail from Oxon Hill, MD and are both graduates of the University of Virginia. Brandon currently resides in Los Angeles, CA while Sharisse has stayed close to home in MD. Being born and raised in Prince George’s County, coupled with having had traveled around domestically and abroad, the siblings observed firsthand the pronounced food desert locally (and across the nation) and the obvious impact to the community. That is the premise of how the Greenbar concept was born.
One of Greenbar’s objectives is to highlight the fact that fast food swamps were designed to exploit the population that lives there. Having put a great deal of thought and money into ensuring that their space was designed in a way that would add equity to the community, the company desires to ignite a movement that shines a light on larger dining chains and helps them realize that all communities want balanced and healthier options.
Greenbar’s easy-to-understand menu includes ingredients locally sourced based on seasonality, and has options to accommodate all dietary preferences. Menu items include Passion Bowls and Build Your Own bowls made with ingredients like kale, quinoa, chickpeas, and much more.
With a price point competitive with most fast food restaurants and casual chains, Greenbar is an easy and practical option that can help bring about a healthy lifestyle transition for the community. Greenbar empowers guests to make choosing healthier and balanced options easy with great-tasting fresh food.
“We wanted people to have access close to home to a place that can support their medically prescribed diet, fitness goals, or simply lifestyle choice. Healthier food choices is the beginning of creating a lifestyle which can hopefully lead to improved health in our communities for adults and children for a lifetime.”
When it comes to customer favorites, the salmon and crispy shrimp are by far the favorite proteins. The chicken pesto and citrus salmon are the most popular Passion Bowls. All the brand’s dressings are made in-house, with the chipotle lime dressing and citrus ginger dressing being popular options.
Upcoming additions to the Greenbar menu include a smoothie option, coming in the first quarter of 2022, and kids meals, which will be launching within the next few weeks. Kids meals will include a kid-sized bowl, drink, and some type of take-away item.
“We are really excited about giving kids in the community other options besides McDonald’s or Wendy’s. We also want to make it easy for parents to procure food for the entire family in one location. We have taste tested the kids options with the pickiest of little eaters, so we’re sure kids will love our meals!”
“A healthy diet is essential for proper development and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Fast food and/or less healthy options can lead to and exacerbate numerous health risk to communities already impacted by inherent health challenges. Food deserts create daily obstacles for people and, it was important for us to create a restaurant where healthy food was easily accessible.”
Greenbar is located at 940 Swan Creek Rd. E. in Fort Washington, MD. Customers are welcome to order in-store or to place orders at www.getgreenbar.com for curbside pickup or delivery. Greenbar is also currently on DoorDash and planning to launch on Grubhub and other platforms before the year ends.