In Good Taste

The Land of Kush Owners Win Grant to Make Restaurant Cashless

Husband-and-wife team win $10,000 from Visa to help launch strictly digital sale system.

By Ellina Buettner | April 11, 2018, 4:11 pm

The Land of Kush owners Greg Brown and Naijha Wright-Brown. -Courtesy of The Land of Kush
In Good Taste

The Land of Kush Owners Win Grant to Make Restaurant Cashless

Husband-and-wife team win $10,000 from Visa to help launch strictly digital sale system.

By Ellina Buettner | April 11, 2018, 4:11 pm

The Land of Kush owners Greg Brown and Naijha Wright-Brown. -Courtesy of The Land of Kush

In a world that’s driving full speed ahead in the direction of digital, it’s no shock to hear that restaurants are leaning more toward e-wallets, rather than traditional leather ones.

Among the local spots embracing the trend is The Land of Kush near Mt. Vernon, which was recently deemed one of the 50 winners of a nationwide contest organized by Visa. The competition encouraged small business owners to turn to a 100 percent cashless payment alternative, and awarded all of the winners with a $10,000 prize to strengthen their businesses.

“We’re still exploring that option, how it will work, and if it’s the best thing for our customers,” said Greg Brown, owner of The Land of Kush. “There’s a percentage of folks who don’t have banks, access to bank accounts, or debit cards, so we have to look at how that would impact our customers who have no other option but to pay cash,” added his wife, co-owner Naijha Wright-Brown. 

As part of the contest, the Browns submitted a 60-second video explaining how their restaurant would benefit if it was totally cash-free. They entered the contest on the day of the deadline, and found out they were the only winners in Maryland. Although they acknowledge some limitations with the system, they believe it’s advantageous overall.

“I just think that everything is digital,” Brown said. “It’s more efficient, and people don’t have to fumble around looking for cash in their pockets,” Wright-Brown added.

Some of their main concerns as business owners include theft and robbery by both employees and outsiders. Because of this, they feel that the cashless approach will act as a safeguard to their restaurant and customers alike.

Additionally, consumer loyalty programs depend on POS—point of sale—systems to track purchase patterns, which is only accessible through the use of credit card and digital pay. Going cash-free would give more diners specialized incentives and rewards, which would save them money in the long run.

“We’re moving to a cashless society,” Brown said. “You can see that in the trends, you constantly see updates in the way people do businesses. Technology is changing, and you have to be on the cutting edge of it.”

The plan to use the prize money to renovate their second location in East Baltimore—which is housed in an old Chinese carry-out restaurant. It’s slated to seat almost triple the number of people compared to their Mt. Vernon location, and just like the original, it will act as food resource and education hub for the local community.

“It was just the right timing, the energy was there, and I just had a really good feeling about it,” Wright-Brown said. “I was surprised, but then I was like, ‘We deserve this, we work hard, we give back to the community, so it’s only right that this is how we’re rewarded.’”





You May Also Like


In Good Taste

Wit & Wisdom Closing Next Month to Make Way for Atlas Restaurant Group Concept

Longtime executive chef Zack Mills shares fond memories of the Chesapeake staple.

In Good Taste

Open & Shut: Le Comptoir du Vin; Pure Raw Juice; Bonchon

The latest restaurant openings, closings, and recent news.

In Good Taste

Crust by Mack Serves Sweet Treats With a Side of Social Justice

Local chef Amanda Mack talks expanding her baking empire while sparking change.


In Good Taste

Renovated Broadway Market Bringing Diverse Food Stalls to Fells Point

Dooby’s owner Phil Han talks new vendors including Korean eatery and all-day bar.

Food & Drink

Axe Marks the Spot

Urban Axes in Highlandtown is a swingin’ good time.

Food & Drink

Chef Cindy Wolf Talks James Beard, Julia Child, and Home Cooking

The Charleston co-owner and executive chef joins the podcast to talk about her illustrious career in food.

Connect With Us

Most Read


Open & Shut: Milk & Honey Market; Farm to Face; Wayward Smokehouse: The latest restaurant openings, closings, and recent news.

Baltimore New Year’s Eve Events That Fit Every Mood: There are plenty of ways to eat, drink, or dance your way into 2019.

New Study Calls for $400 Million Overhaul of Pimlico Race Course: But the next question is who pays for it.

How to Handle a Job Loss the Right Way (By Joe Flacco): ​The longtime Ravens starting QB is classy while yielding to rookie Lamar Jackson.

Fells Point Fixture Leroy Moore Leaves Indelible Impression on the Neighborhood: Local business owners remember Moore for his infectious smile, birthday parties, and love of Coca-Cola.