Two D.C. residents eat one of many metropolis’s most beloved staples.
Glizzys Vegan Meals Firm’s All The Method To Heaven is vegan sausage garnished with an aurora sautéed pink pepper, inexperienced pepper, onion and excellent swirls of mustard. However its true appeal extends past the attention to at least one’s palate as a confection of candy and savory notes melts on the tongue – an expertise that displays the heights one feels after a gourmand expertise.
This flamboyant—DC slang for warm canine—simply occurs to be what Glizzys co-owner and DC resident Dontrell Britton recommends off the menu, together with Navy Yard Nachos and Mt. Nice Mexican Avenue Corn.
“Lots of people can relate to a scorching canine,” Britton says. “If I can do [the vegan option] Just a little tastier, it is a win.”
Though the Glizzys have their roots in D.C., the thought for the opening was born in Los Angeles the place Britton labored as a health coach to the celebs – His purchasers have included Shy Glizzy and Pusha T. Whereas there, he seen the prevalence of vegan meals choices and wished to carry again what he noticed to his hometown.
“I introduced him to [Shy Glizzy] And he was like, Younger, your identify is Shy Glazy. The capital is understood for its shimmer. We should always open a restaurant and name it Glizzys,” Britton says. “So all of the rappers and anybody who stops by D.C. is like, ‘I gotta come to Glizzys as a result of this can be a landmark.’”
Shy Glizzy ended up dropping out of the enterprise concept after shifting completely to Los Angeles, however Britton saved $100,000 and opened a vegan meals truck in 2021 with good friend and fellow D.C. resident Nathan Hedspeth. The 2 employed Britton’s private chef, Jimmy Butler (who’s go-to chef J.B.), and created a menu of vegan and eco-friendly scorching canine with names that pay homage to totally different neighborhoods within the capital, like Shaw and Capitol Hill.
“The thrilling factor in regards to the menu and the chance is that I can showcase my expertise within the kitchen with the totally different flavors we carry to the vegan scene,” says Chef JB. “The truth that I prepare dinner the best way I eat makes it so significantly better. It is a possibility to carry cleaner meals to those that aren’t lucky to take action.”
Breton has additionally leveraged his private community to assist his enterprise with a workforce of accountants, tax consultants, actual property professionals and contract attorneys. His attorneys had been notably instrumental in acquiring the company trademark for the Glizzys, a two-year trial that Britton stated value him $2,000 up entrance.
“One particular factor we stored having was Shy Glizzy, as a result of it is each [brands] It’s linked to DC,” he says. “We had been in a position to go together with it as a result of it’s leisure and we’re meals, and people are two separate entities.”
Whereas stepping into the world of the meals enterprise generally is a perilous journey for a lot of small enterprise house owners, Britton attributes his success to date, and level-of-mind, to his outlook on life—”perspective is 90% of the battle.”
This message is the cornerstone of his many motivational social media posts on TikTok and Instagram the place he has amassed practically two million followers.
“All the things you do in life—what you imagine, what you imagine, what you see as—in the end impacts the way you reply,” he says. “Each day I do not sit in entrance of a choose who tells me I will face 12 or 15 years is a win for me.”
Britton additionally added that whereas making his enterprise worthwhile is crucial, what he values most is positively influencing folks, notably in his group.
One of many firm’s group initiatives, referred to as the Glizzys Youth Crew Program, is for at-risk mentors ages 16 to 21 who’re both on probation or parole, or whose life-style places them prone to incarceration.
This system, which began with three boys from the Breton neighborhood, affords individuals mentorship, management alternatives, participation in group constructing actions and monetary training. Moreover, individuals are employed as a part of the Glizzys employees, obtain minimal wage, qualify for bonuses, and obtain a free meal each shift.
“As a enterprise proprietor, it is thrilling to have the facility to vary the tradition,” says Headspeth. “[We have] Hoping to develop to totally different components of the world.”
To qualify for this system, Britton and Hedspeth meet with potential individuals to be taught extra about their life journeys and decipher how the Glizzys can propel them towards well being and success.
“After I was that 16-year-old child, I at all times acquired cops and other people telling me to not promote medication,” Britton says. “However I used to be like, ‘You don’t need me to promote medication, however you do not give me an alternative choice to put cash in my pocket and assist feed my household.'” ”
As such, the Glizzys Youth Crew program, together with the restaurant, cements a legacy that Britton desires to create for himself, his group, and the county as an entire.
His employees consists of previously imprisoned people, and it’s believed that their look sends a message that “[money can be made] Legally.”
“I wish to give perspective to those that may view ex-offenders as unhealthy folks,” he says, peeling a juicy, ripe orange mango. “[I want them to see us] And be like, “You are cool as shit.”
Observe the Glizzys on Instagram @glizzysdc to see what they’re as much as and the place they’re going to be subsequent. Try their web site gizzysdc.com to see the checklist and be taught extra about their tasks.
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