Soul(d)Veg: Gregory Brown

Soul(d)Veg: Gregory Brown

A Look into the life of restaurant owner, Gregory Brown

By Albert Phillips
Finding a vegetarian restaurant is not easy, but finding a vegan one is just a step away from impossible, especially in Baltimore. In a place where seafood and chicken boxes are the norm, one man had a vision for something a little different to add to your lunch or dinner plate.
Listening to health advice from Krs-One and studying the lessons taught in Alex Haley’s “The Autobiography of Malcolm X,” led business owner and health advocate, Gregory Brown, on his path to wellness. “I stopped eating pork, stopped eating beef and it was a slow change over a couple of years and I stopped eating other foods.”
The son of an architect and school teacher, Gregory Brown is the co-owner and chief visionary of the Land of Kush, a soul food, vegan restaurant located in the Mount Vernon community, just north of downtown Baltimore.
Brown picked up a book one day that had 500 recipes that he could use as a guide to stop killing animals and start healing his body nutritionally. “
It just took me a little bit of research and some time to put it together.” Time and definitely some capital led to the creation of one of only three vegetarian/vegan restaurants in the Baltimore community.
A history buff and advocate for eating “green,” Brown created the name “The Land of Kush” after studying the ancient African kingdom of Kush(Nubia), which was renowned for its wealth of natural resources like iron, gold and other exotic goods. Combining historical studies with a feel of comfort and productivity led to the “Land” part of the business name.
Beyond the history and embracing vibes of the place, the Land of Kush has something unique that most vegetarian restaurants truly lack: taste!
“I grew up in a traditional African American household. My mother cooked barbecue chicken, macaroni and cheese, meatloaf…” This traditional soul food that Brown grew up on was a precursor to what he’s serving up at his restaurant today. Now on the menu at the Land of Kush, that is open 7 days a week, you will see “Kush BBQ Ribs” and “Baked Macaroni and Cheese,” both prepared without any animal products.  Though it is not listed on the menu, he also took his mom’s meatloaf idea and turned it into a savory lentil loaf.
Though his nine month old business is doing pretty well, Greg and his fiancée Naijha Wright have something else on the way that takes nine month’s to produce. “I have a vegan baby girl on the way and it’s a blessing.”
Both parents are keeping the name undisclosed until they’re both ready to let the world know. While working at his last job, Verizon Wireless, Brown met his soul mate and fellow investor into his dream of creating a restaurant. She leads the way in the marketing part of the business, insuring that the Land of Kush is properly represented at local health centered events.
“They’re a great couple and team,” says Jasmin Alford, one of three cashiers at the Land of Kush. She’s been employed at the restaurant for a few months now and she really likes the fact that not only is it family owned, it is black owned as well.  “You have to make money, but at the same time it’s a purpose and vision behind it.” With the closing of the Yabba Pot, the only other Black owned vegan restaurant in the City, the Land of Kush now sits at the number one spot for a vegetarian appetite. The restaurant has been featured in the City Paper, the Baltimore Sun, and also has great reviews in many online survey sites including Yelp and Happy Cow.
Though the Land of Kush is a brand new business, Gregory plans to explore other national areas to open up future franchises. “I want to carry this company nationwide, even globally if possible. I want it to be at least in a couple of different states in the next five years.  I’d like to do something in [Washington] D.C and then hit Philly (Philadelphia) in the next couple of years. I’ve talked to people who want to invest so we can open up in Hawaii, New Mexico and a few other places as well.”
In the Baltimore area? Want to this spot out? Here’s the info!

The Land of Kush
840 N. Eutaw St., Baltimore, MD
www.thelandofkush.com

This post was written by:

Tafari Melisizwe - who has written 56 posts on Black Power Media.


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