Natural Foods Merchandiser
Glen's Garden Market goes all in on local

Glen's Garden Market goes all in on local

Natural Products Expo and Natural Foods Merchandiser joined to award retailers of the year in the categories of sustainability, innovation, community and best new store. Glen's Garden Market of Washington, D.C., is a best new store finalist. 

After spending years attempting to pass a climate bill in congress, environmental lawyer-turned-grocer Danielle Vogel decided to found Glen’s Garden Market, a full-scale grocery based in Dupont Circle, Washington, D.C.

Named after both her father and great-grandfather, who were grocers themselves, Vogel’s store is founded on tenets of the Slow Food movement: Glen’s Garden Market only stocks food produced in the states of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. With the exception of a few non-regional necessities (salt, spices, soymilk, etc.), “Everything we sell is embedded with the integrity of how producers treat the land, their crops and their animals,” says Vogel.

Though the store opened its doors a mere 15 months ago, the grocery has already tripled its inventory, adding new products on the request of their enthusiastic customers. Instead of legislative environmental change, Vogel hopes to make progress with every single sandwich, pint of locally crafted beer and vegetable purchased in her store. “We’re progressive one bite at a time,” she says.

Here are three top points of progressiveness:

All local, all the time: Nearly everything in Glen’s Garden Market is sourced from D.C., Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania or New York. Vogel’s mission is also to support small, local food businesses. Since opening, Glen’s Garden Market has helped launch 15 small producers by offering them space on the grocery shelf.

Exceptional café: Lucky enough to employ a chef who formerly worked at Copenhagen’s Noma (one of the best restaurants in the world), Glen’s makes all of its café food from scratch, including meats such as pastrami, smoked turkey, bison tongue, and 25 fresh salads every day. “This is the kind of food you can really feel good about,” says Vogel.

A craft bar scene: The grocery showcases eight $4-per-pint craft beers on a rotating basis in their bar (yes, there’s a bar!) per day. Locally produced wines are also available in a vending machine, where shoppers can buy a prepaid card and create their own wine flights.

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