The Eastern Shore Food Lab (ESFL) at Washington College is joining forces with local start-up sourdough baker Rise, adding product sales to the established ESFL space at 236 Cannon Street and collaborating on programming that meets their shared mission of promoting nourishing foods.
This innovative partnership is a natural fit with the Eastern Shore Food Lab’s focus on a hands-on approach that uses food to reconnect with what it means to be human. The three pillars of ESFL are research, teaching and production. Augmenting operations so that the cutting-edge facility also serves as a distribution point for Rise’s handmade products brings the third pillar of production to life in a way that adds significant value for Washington College students, faculty and staff alike.
“This exciting collaboration is all about creating the ability to simultaneously inspire, educate and nourish anyone who walks through the doors of the ESFL,” said Dr. Bill Schindler, ESFL Director.
With this new partnership, Rise – a start-up focused on creating nourishing foods for the community — is able to move into a downtown space that makes its high-quality products readily accessible to the community. Subsequently, by basing operations out of the ESFL facility, they are providing real-life opportunities for Washington College students to be a part of an authentic entrepreneurial venture through internships, employment and learning approaches.
Additionally, the joint venture will further enhance the ever-growing culinary landscape of Chestertown while fueling local economic growth and creating new employment opportunities.
Rise got its start a year ago, when the pandemic began. When the shutdown and subsequent food shortages occurred, Schindler and his oldest daughter, Brianna, went to work in the kitchen, baking and then donating hundreds of loaves of sourdough bread to families in need. It was that experience that gave rise to the official formation of a sourdough baking business.
“It’s amazing to see what started as a 16-year-old’s simple idea to bake sourdough is ‘rising’ into a commercial kitchen where we will be able to expand beyond sourdough bread and produce a bunch of new food products to nourish the community,” said Christina Schindler, owner.
Rise is currently delivering orders throughout Kent and Queen Anne’s Counties, only on Fridays. Orders can also be picked up at a few other locations around the area including Unity Nursery in Church Hill, Ten Eyck Brewery in Queenstown and the Kent Island Farmer’s Market at the Cult Classic Brewery (Thursday). Beginning March 12, 236 Cannon Street will officially be added as a pick-up location, operating between 2 and 5 PM on Fridays. Availability is expected to increase to include additional days and products such as nixtamalized tortillas handmade from heirloom Oaxacan maize once the new operation is fully up and running.
For more information and to order products, go here.
About the Eastern Shore Food Lab
The Eastern Shore Food Lab at Washington College optimizes personal and community health by drawing upon the dietary past that built us as a species. We research, reimagine, and share strategies that meet and exceed our biological and cultural needs. We transition culture by strengthening the ties between environment, society, family, and ourselves through food as we address issues of sustainability, food access, and dietary and social health. We provide a model that institutions within any region can emulate, achieving zero waste by conscientious design and a commitment to revitalize human and ecological communities with every action.
About Washington College
Founded in 1782, Washington College is the tenth oldest college in the nation and the first chartered under the new Republic. With an emphasis on hands-on, experiential learning in the arts and sciences, and more than 40 multidisciplinary areas of study, the College is home to nationally recognized academic centers in the environment, history, and writing. Learn more at washcoll.edu.