Whole Heart Provisions, Blackbird Doughnuts Look to Open in Smith Center


Whole Heart Provisions and Blackbird Doughnuts are looking to move into the renovated Smith Campus Center when it opens in the fall of 2018.

Vegetarian eatery Whole Heart Provisions and artisanal gourmet doughnut shop Blackbird Doughnuts are both small, Boston-based companies.

If approved by the City, Whole Heart Provisions and Blackbird Doughnuts will join six other tenants in the student center’s ground floor public spaces. Three other food venues have already made their bids on the space: bakery chain Swissbäkers, Vietnamese-inspired sandwich and salad shop Bon Me, and coffee roaster Pavement Coffeehouse.

After conversations with Harvard, both Whole Heart Provisions and Blackbird Doughnuts are set to appear before the Board of Zoning Appeal on Nov. 30 and Dec. 14, respectively.


University spokesperson Brigid O’Rourke wrote in an emailed statement that the selected vendors will be a good fit for Harvard affiliates and Cantabrigians alike.

“The restaurants will offer a wide range of food selections in a casual and comfortable setting, and help us achieve a shared vision for this site—one that will benefit the Harvard community, as well as the entire Harvard Square area for many years to come,” she wrote.

O’Rourke has previously said the University sought out food venues that are locally-based, diverse in offerings, and that provide healthy, sustainable, and affordable options.

Rebecca Arnold, co-founder of Whole Heart Provisions, said the company has been considering the space since Harvard approached them early this year.

“I think it’ll just be a great atmosphere for us with all the students coming through and tourists,” Arnold said. “Our entire menu is plant-based and we’ll be the only ones in the Square that are a hundred percent plant-based,” she added.

According to their zoning application, Whole Heart Provisions will offer plant-based veggie and grain bowls, breakfast options, and snacks such as seared avocado, street corn, and falafel dogs. Whole Heart Provisions would be located in the central arcade area on the Dunster St. side of the building.

While Blackbird Doughnuts’ owner Rebecca Roth Gullo declined to comment, the company's zoning plans indicate that the shop will be located inside the common space pavilion facing theHolyoke St. side of the building. The shop would sell homemade cake and yeast-based doughnuts, in addition to coffee and ice cream.

The University recently filed an application to extend construction hours between 6 p.m. and midnight in order to meet its fall 2018 opening date for the Smith Campus Center. The application will be discussed at the Nov. 29 License Commission public meeting.

—Staff writer Alison W. Steinbach can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @alisteinbach.