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Startup Grounds to open at the Hub

Startup Grounds, The Hub Powered by PNC’s new bistro featuring food from local underrepresented, minority-owned and woman-owned vendors, opens Sept. 16 at the Dayton Arcade.

“Our mission is to highlight these entrepreneurs and allow people to grow their businesses and get to that next level,” said Clarece Richardson, co-owner with Gerald Richardson of Rich Taste Catering, which will operate the bistro under a partnership with The Hub and the University of Dayton’s student-run Flyer Enterprises, with support from the Greater West Dayton Incubator.

Open to the public at the South Main Street entrance to The Hub, Startup Grounds will offer fresh sandwiches, salads and other items prepared by Rich Taste; cookies from The Cookieologist; vegan chocolate chip cookies from Bless Me Sweets; cupcakes from Twist Cupcakery; coffee from NameSake Coffee; seasoning blends, including a special seasoning for coffee drinks served at the bistro, from Simply Savory by Rachel; and more. 

“For us, this is a great opportunity to let everyone know we’re the neighborhood cookie people,” said Cookieologist owner Isiah Davis. “Even though we’re on Brown Street and in some grocery stores, people don’t know we exist or they can’t make it to our shop during open hours. Startup Grounds will help us build our cookie empire one batch at a time.”

Richardson said her goal is to use her experience to help underrepresented entrepreneurs who have a product ready for wholesale gain exposure and placements in grocery stores or coffee shops. Startup Grounds also gives undergraduates involved in Flyer Enterprises the opportunity to gain experience with marketing and accounting services.

“As one of the largest student-run businesses in the country with $1.3 million in annual revenue, the experience undergraduates gain in Flyer Enterprises gives them a leg up in the industry,” said Carolyn Haney, Flyer Enterprises CEO. “While customers won’t see the back-office support we’ll provide to Startup Grounds, the business can’t function without a solid accounting and marketing strategy. This involvement gives us great experience while helping Flyer Enterprises meet our goals of connecting more with the greater Dayton community and building relationships with underrepresented vendors who might be interested in partnering with some of our on-campus operations in the future.”

Startup Grounds adds to the array of experiential learning programs available to students, including opportunities in the School of Business Administration to manage the largest student-run investment fund in the country with $60 million in assets, consult with nonprofits and other companies, lead a micro-lending program for entrepreneurs in Kenya, act as an angel investor, start their own businesses and practice in a professional selling laboratory.

"One of the top things employers say they want in new hires is the ability to apply knowledge in real-world situations. Our students are able to hone these skills through participation in multiple experiential learning opportunities,” said Trevor Collier, interim dean of the School of Business Administration.

Startup Grounds will be open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday to Friday. More information is available on the bistro’s Instagram account at @startupgrounds.

The Hub Powered by PNC is a partnership between The University of Dayton and The Entrepreneurs’ Center. At 95,000 square feet and among the largest university-anchored innovation hubs in the country, it includes shared and private office spaces, meeting rooms, conference areas, pop-up retail opportunities, learning labs and classrooms. More information is available online.


News and Communications Staff