When I made a cross-country move to Baltimore a few years ago, I saw it as a chance to shake up my career. I was a chef out west, but I really wanted to do something on my own. My business is called Dizzy Cow Pizzeria, and I travel all over the Baltimore area cooking at markets, festivals, concerts, and private events.
One of the first regular locations for Dizzy Cow Pizzeria was the weekly farmers market on Pratt & Light Plaza in downtown Baltimore. When I started cooking at the plaza, there wasn’t much going on except the market once a week and the space could feel pretty empty and lifeless the rest of the time.
Over the last two years, I’ve seen the plaza begin to change into something really special. With help from a Southwest Airlines Heart of the Community grant, the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore was able to put in new landscaping and seating, as well as create more events each week on the plaza. There’s even a cool new shipping container kiosk and deck. The crowds at the farmers market have grown a lot, and the plaza is full of people from nearby offices and apartments who come to hang out.
I’m committed to using as many fresh and local ingredients as possible to make the most delicious food I can, and I love to try out new combinations. I feel like the team working on the plaza has been doing the same thing. They’re always experimenting with how to bring new improvements, partners, and activities together to make Pratt & Light a place Baltimore can be proud of.
The plaza is a fun, inspiring place to work where I can know my regulars by name and be part of something bigger than just a market. That’s what I wanted when I started Dizzy Cow and why the Pratt & Light Plaza is so important to my business and me. It’s not just a location—it’s a place.
Southwest and Project for Public Spaces are now accepting applications for the 2017 Heart of the Community grant. To learn more about the grant and how to apply, visit www.pps.org/heart-of-the-community.