Unwavering Resiliency and Unstoppable Momentum
The Inspiring Drive of The Foundry District
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve all observed first-hand the fortitude of the human spirit. In Fort Worth, a city defined by its entrepreneurial spirit, nowhere have these stories been more visible than in pockets filled with innovative industry leaders, first-class taste makers, and creative office users.
Throughout 2020, The Foundry District has been the backdrop for many inspiring stories of entrepreneurial inventiveness and agility. We’ve seen tenants pivot their business models, support their neighbors, and thrive through ingenuity, collaboration and innovation unlike anywhere else in the city.
Before we dive into these incredible tenants, we’d like to celebrate The Foundry District as a whole.
The Foundry District is a former 6-acre urban industrial park redeveloped into an Innovation District comprised of 30+ businesses. During this period of extreme adversity, 100% of these businesses pivoted or expanded their offerings. More over, The Foundry District remained 100% leased, with three new leases that were executed during COVID-19. An MEP engineering firm, a full-service design firm and a high-quality lash studio are all proud to call The Foundry District their new home.
The challenges of COVID–19 on any business, is more than most will ever see in their lifetime. These remarkable feats of The Foundry District tenants are reflective of the inspiring businesses and people, and we’re proud to share some of their stories.
Maple Branch Brewery
Construction progress on the taproom and beer garden remained steadfast throughout the pandemic with their grand opening in October being a huge success. Many businesses under construction with small business loans were put on hold due to the pandemic, but not this crew.
Their 7,000 square feet beer garden which is home to 24 taps of small-batch, owner-brewed beer, has been a welcome destination for trailblazers, free-thinkers, visionaries, friends, and newcomers to unwind while igniting their taste buds.
In a true Foundry District collaboration, Maple Branch has partnered with M&O Station Grill in order to deliver and serve their burgers alongside Maple Branch’s brews.
Thirty-Eight and Vine
Awards & Honors:
2020 Fort Worth Inc., Best of Fort Worth, Wine List
Thirty-Eight and Vine immediately stepping into action, offering curbside/delivery with online ordering – which they dubbed their Wine-Thru. They optimized every step of their to-go experience, making transactions easy for those who needed a wine fix during these trying times.
They also collaborated with local charities who had to shut their doors to galas and events in March. One of these charities was Wish With Wings, donating 20% of their sales to the cause, which grants magical wishes for young Texans with life-threatening medical conditions.
Thirty-Eight and Vine has teamed up with fellow local entrepreneurs, like Gifted, My Sweet Roots, Greenhouse817, and Loot Rentals to name a few. Community collaborations are key to driving business and maintaining community.
Lastly, Trinity Coffee House is now open at the former Craftwork Coffee location at 2700 Weisenberger St. Sam and Jennifer Demel, owners of Thirty-Eight and Vine, recently acquired the space. The Demels said they plan to transform the space into a community hub for coffee and collaboration.
Awards & Honors:
2020 Fort Worth Inc., Nightlife – Lounge
Blackland’s quick pivot to hand sanitizer had customers waiting in long car queues for curbside pickup. They also supplied bulk production to local businesses and to the healthcare community at large.
During this intense pivot, they also grew their team by hiring a renowned bartender who’s now serving up some of the best cocktails in Cowtown!
M&O Station Grill
M&O Station Grill adapted to the lockdown by quickly rolling out curbside service and online ordering, as well as offering a brand new family-style menu and delivery to local neighborhoods, making it impossible to resist the top-ranked burger in Fort Worth!
They’ve also begun collaborating with Maple Branch on a beer & burgers special. MB customers can order food from M&O online, and have it delivered contact-free right to their seat in Maple Branch’s beer garden.
In addition to finding unique ways to keep the community active and make their events virtual, The Cowtown Marathon also opened their doors to support others. They shared their warehouse space to offer a work environment for the Tarrant Area Food Bank and the Air National Guard in order to create emergency food boxes for the local Fort Worth community.
To pivot from their in-person runs, they’ve hosted three virtual runs to date, with three more on the Fall calendar that are open for registration. The virtual runs are designed for runners, walkers, and everyone in between in an effort to provide a healthy outlet during these challenging times.
They’ve also overhauled their app, adding new interactive features like time tracking and displaying a leaderboard throughout the virtual race day. Participants are eligible for age division awards and will enjoy the interactive competitive nature of these virtual races. Once in the app, athletes hit a start button and the app will register their distance and automatically upload the results.
Meyer & Sage
Awards & Honors:
2020 Best of Fort Worth, Fort Worth Inc., Grab n’ Go
Meyer & Sage expanded their grab & go offerings to support local Fort Worth businesses and give families a much-needed break from cooking and washing dishes. Some of the local vendors they partnered with include MELT Ice Creams, Rollin’ n Bowlin’, Frozen Smoothie Pouches, Crunch Girl Granola, LUXE Candle+Bath Co., Cassie Green Health, Harvest Pharmacy, Dr. Sue’s Chocolate, and much more. They also teamed up with an Austin company, Lone Star Meats, to supply humanely and sustainably-raised meats from Niman Ranch – a nationwide brand of local family farmers.
To boost sales, they offered a new digital store at IngredientsDoMatter.Square.Site, which created an opportunity for customers to safely shop virtually alongside launching curbside service. This was so successful, they often sold out of many items daily.
Awards & Honors:
2020 Best of Fort Worth, Fort Worth Inc., CBD
Thrive kept their doors open throughout the pandemic, and also offered countless promotions, giveaways, contests, and new product reveals. Safety was the hallmark of their efforts, including a COVID-19 safety plan that required employees to wear masks & gloves and disinfect surfaces following each customer. They also kept their front door and garage door open at all times to keep airflow moving.
To support customers, they initiated a program called CBD Your Way. This included in-person, online, autoship, and curbside purchase options. They also offered free shipping on every item when purchased through their website.
Despite the challenges facing bar and restaurants that heavily rely on alcohol sales, Tulane’s was able to increase food sales by 20% through the inventive expansion of their New Orleans-inspired menu.
Grand Berry Theater
Awards & Honors:
2020 Best of Fort Worth, Fort Worth Inc., First Date, Movie Theater
Grand Berry launched a virtual cinema to stream the latest indie film releases which were slated to launch in theater during the pandemic. As many know, the film industry at large has responded to the pandemic by pushing nearly all of their releases to 2021, posing a major challenge to the theaters themselves.
However, Grand Berry Theater has been thriving. Since June, they’ve rented out their theater almost daily to an audience safely hosting private birthday parties, curated engagement proposals, date nights, and in summary, offered a theater experience that the DFW community can trust.
Doc’s Records & Vintage
Awards & Honors:
2020 Best of Fort Worth, Fort Worth Inc., Record Store
With people spending much more time at home, and the resurgent popularity of vinyl records holding strong, Doc’s Records has been enjoying some of the most successful sales months in its history. This is largely thanks to driving exceptionally safe sales events.
Double Oak Tack
Double Oak Tack, despite the challenges of the COVID-19 environment, opened their doors during the shutdown and have seen remarkable success right out of the chute.
Fusion Medical Aesthetics
Fusion hasn’t missed a beat, with safety measures ensuring their facilities are comfortable and worry-free.
Awards & Honors:
2020 Best of Fort Worth, Fort Worth Inc., Gift Shop
Gifted quickly and efficiently transitioned to 100% online sales with curbside pick-up options to keep everyone safe. They accomplished this by overhauling their website to better serve their audience, which has also served to expand their customer base. They also rolled out pre-curated gift boxes, which all sold out quickly.
They launched a new product – a COVID-19 journal that encourages writers to creatively document their personal experiences. They donated 100% of the profits from this product to Meals On Wheels Tarrant County.
Due to all of these efforts, and many more like their one-to-one mask match program, Gifted was able to retain 100% of their employees through the pandemic.
Love Carmen Photography
Through limiting in-person groups of people in the studio and cleaning and sanitizing between each customer, Love Carmen has been able to keep their doors open and keep upcoming graduates looking their best.
PowerFit has grown its new client base by 20% since reopening in May, signaling the community is looking for a clean, safe, and effective place to get back in shape! They pride themselves on innovation, and that was their precise mindset when the fitness industry was put on pause.
They’ve offered free community classes every Friday at 11:30 since the end of July in response to the toll the pandemic has taken on health and wellness. They have kept their doors open as an outlet to get the community back to being their best selves.
During the pandemic, GL Seaman was designated as an essential business, and their operations team has never missed a day. They employ their own installation team and have been busy fulfilling crucial business operations, with clients ranging from education, healthcare, utility providers, oil & gas, defense contractors, banking, and government. Their automated processes allowed their administration and design teams to immediately pivot to working remotely, allowing their clients to maintain their operations.
Working with manufacturers to support work-from-home strategies for their clients’ employees, some have allowed their employees access to corporate discounts for furniture and equipment. This offering has provided long-term at-home working environments that are more suitable and comfortable than their dining room tables.
Since most design firms have moved to fully working remotely, their full-service resource room has become a go-to, by appointment only destination for Fort Worth firms, fulfilling their customers’ needs.
GL Seaman migrated the Continuing Education Series (CEU’s) from in-person to entirely online and completely free, which has allowed the design community to continue getting their necessary CEU’s to maintain their professional licenses without having to pay for the classes.
GL Seaman has also optimized this time to train their design team on an entirely new software program that allows a faster response to customer demands. To say GL Seaman has not skipped a beat is an understatement.