Two-year old company Hungry Harvest has opened its new 1,200 sq. ft. headquarters at City Garage in Port Covington. CEO and Co-Founder Evan Lutz is a Baltimore native and started the business his senior year at the University of Maryland (UM). Hungry Harvest is a tenant of UM, which leases the space at City Garage from the building’s owner, Plank Industries, for UM alumni startups.
While at College Park, Lutz was working for Food Recovery Network, which takes food that would be thrown away each night at dining halls and distributes it to people in need. He came up with the idea of doing the same with farms, which throw away six billion pounds of “ugly produce” that would be rejected by stores and restaurants, according to Lutz. Hungry Harvest buys this produce at a discount and then packages and sells it to clients. For every basket Hungry Harvest sells they donate one to a family in need. The business quickly grew to 400 to 500 clients at College Park.
Hungry Harvest received a boost after an appearance on NBC’s Shark Tank when co-host Robert Herjavec invested $100,000 for 10% stake in the business. The company has also raised money through a seed round and has a Series A round of investment coming soon.
Hungry Harvest, which relocated from Columbia in May, now has a team of nine full-time employees, three part-time employees, and about 80 independent contractors. Positions include drivers, who deliver the food baskets to homes and charity drop-off locations, as well positions in sales, logistics, and the acquisition of produce from the more than 100 farms in its network. Hungry Harvest also teams with Schmidt’s and Atwaters to provide bread, and additional companies to deliver products such as granola, sauces, and peanut butter. Baskets start at $15 per week.
Lutz brought the company to South Baltimore because he wanted to get back to his hometown and loved the area’s convenience to where many of the Hungry Harvest team lives. Lutz lives in South Baltimore and says he can get to work in just a couple of minutes. He called City Garage, which is home to many other maker startups, as a “cool ecosystem” and a “collaborative environment.” There are large gathering areas at City Garage along with shared kitchens and bathrooms.
Hungry Harvest’s office includes a small green house, which Lutz used for a conference call after SouthBMore.com’s visit, a large strip of synthetic turf, a large American flag, and desks.
The new headquarters also puts Hungry Harvest close to two of its biggest hotspots for deliveries which are Fell’s Point and Federal Hill. Hungry Harvest also has a distribution warehouse in Jessup where they team with Coosemans Worldwide on produce. Hungry Harvest makes deliveries to Maryland, Washington, DC, and Northern Virginia, and just recently added Philadelphia. Hungry Harvest has more than 5,100 customers.
Lutz was selected this month as one of Forbes Magazine’s 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneurs. Lutz told SouthBMore.com that he’s excited for the recognition it brings for Hungry Harvest.
As the company grows, Lutz told SouthBMore.com that City Garage is likely not the permanent home for his company, but that he’s committed to Baltimore and happy to grow Hungry Harvest in his hometown.