By Laura Hayes • Photography By Raisa Aziz 2016-06-01 00:57:52
GLEN'S GARDEN MARKET & A GUIDE TO THE BEST OF THE BAY The Best of our Bay SO YOU WANT TO EAT MORE FROM-THE-BAY FOOD? ENJOY OUR GUIDE ON WHERE TO STOCK UP! Eating local supports the economy, gives props to mom-and-pop fishermen and farmers and takes a few sizes off our carbon footprint. The waters of the Chesapeake Bay make it desirable by yielding an outstanding array of everything from bivalves and blue crabs to trophy fish. But getting local seafood onto our plates isn't always as easy as just going to the grocery store. Here's where to look if you want to bring the Bay to your backdoor without putting up a sign that says "gone fishing." "I can say that the overall quality coming in is amazing–fishermen have learned they can get more for their fish if they take care of it and get it to market faster," says BlackSalt Market's fishmonger MJ Gimbar. He hawks the usual suspects from the Chesapeake like rockfish, fluke, cobia, tautog, skate wing and soft-shell crabs, plus surprises like blowfish tails. "They're a cousin to fugu in Japan, but totally harmless," Gimbar says of the fish that also goes by Northern puffer and spends the summer in the Bay. "I buy the tails cleaned and ready to go, on the bone; they look like little chicken wings." He recommends frying them up. He also sells several species of Chesapeake oysters including Old Black Salts, 38° North, Sewansecott and Barren Island. Ivy City Smokehouse is another hot spot for Chesapeake seafood, and they're on a mission: "Only 16% of Americans are comfortable buying seafood, taking it home and cooking it," says John Rorapaugh, the director of sustainability for Profish, which stocks Ivy City Smokehouse. "My goal is to get that number to 25 or 30% in this region." Positioned off New York Avenue–one of the main arteries in and out of Washington, DC–the combined market and tavern is positioned to do just that, with lower price points that make at-home seafood experiments more approachable. To help accomplish his goal, Rorapaugh produces short videos on how to prepare the fish they sell such as rockfish, croaker, spot, butterfish, sheepshead, wild cobia, triggerfish and black bass from the Eastern Seaboard. The miniscule but well-stocked market is staffed with experts eager to answer questions and fish sold at wholesale prices, often a 30-to 50% discount from other seafood retailers. But let's not forget where seafood got its start in the District: in that Southwest corridor that's just beginning to get its due. There, The Wharf 's purveyors harvest directly from the Chesapeake Bay. Captain White Seafood City, for example, is a prime source for blue crabs, whose populations are up by 35% this year, according to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Sounds like a good summer to conquer cooking local seafood at home. A Chip Off the Old Broccoli GLEN'S GARDEN MARKET FOUNDER DANIELLE VOGEL CARRIES ON FAMILY TRADITION By Hope Nelson • Photography By Jai Williams There's no mistaking it: The grocery business is in Danielle Vogel's blood. The CEO and founder of Glen's Garden Market celebrated her third year in Dupont Circle this spring–and welcomed a second Glen's location in DC's Shaw neighborhood in December. Her patrons who love the store were not surprised to see her success, but Vogel says she never saw it coming. "I had absolutely no interest in working in the private sector, ever. I was going to work for Congress, always," Vogel says, tracing her interest in federal policy and politics back to working for former Congressman Christopher Shays, who represented her hometown in Connecticut's 4th District. But Vogel took a different path than the one she'd expected and found that the grocery business was truly part of her DNA. After finishing law school and working for the Department of Justice, litigating against companies for violating the Clean Air Act, then heading back to Capitol Hill to pursue climate change legislation, she started a grocery. But not just any grocery. She wanted to create a retail showcase for the very best products: food, beer and wines created in Chesapeake watershed states. She also wanted to create community. "I started this company expressly to make incremental climate change progress," Vogel says. "And we say we're doing it one bite at a time by selling good food that's produced close by. We focus on growing relationships with vendors that treat their land, their animals and their ingredients with respect." The work she's doing with those vendors has struck a chord and made a lasting impact on the DC food community. In the past three years, Glen's has helped launch 56 new businesses by developing retail relationships with local small companies, giving a boost to food startups selling everything from salad dressings to microgreens, from ice cream to food-related greeting cards. And while the future looks bright for Glen's Garden Market and the entrepreneurs they've supported and helped launch, the history of the store–and its origin story–carry some weight as well. Why's it called Glen's Garden Market, after all? "It's my dad's name," Vogel explains. "My father was a grocer and his father was a grocer; their family is Rosengarten. So my great-great-grandfather's first grocery store was called The Garden Market, which was, like, a play on Rosengarten. And so The Garden Market was what got it started on my dad's side of the family." Like Vogel, during his time as a grocer Glen Rosengarten worked to spark some change of his own. Here's how Vogel tells it: "My dad's dream in life was to take the space underneath the 59th Street bridge in Manhattan and convert it back to a farmers market. A hundred years ago, it was the first farmers market in Manhattan. He fought with the city of New York for 15 years to get the permits to re-create this farmers market. And he couldn't do it. He couldn't do it. Because what we have created [at Glen's] is so similar in so many ways to what he had spent his life trying to do, I had to name it after him. I had to. And so not only is Glen's Garden Market a throwback to my family tradition, but it's obviously relevant to what we're doing and offering here. It makes a lot of sense." "If I had a superpower, it would be watching my dad step into this space and react to it," Vogel says. "I would die to see it." And certainly her father would be proud as his daughter has taken her turn–to open a community grocery store while refusing to leave her passion for sustainable living behind.
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