2 Armadillos Hand-Roasted Chickpeas coming to Columbia Heights Plaza

3239 14th Street, NW

Interesting replacement for Julia’s Empanadas Columbia Heights location which closed back in January of 2013 – 2 Armadillos Hand-Roasted Chickpeas. Though on twitter 2 Armadillos say “we are figuring out our office space” so it’s not yet clear what, if any, walk in retail component there will be.

Their website says:

Our first batch of crispy chickpeas was made in a tiny New York City oven that was so old it didn’t even have numbers on the dials. The year was 2011, and Greg was just a hungry medical student looking to get through a crazy day at work without running to the vending machine for a bag of chips or a candy bar. He started roasting chickpeas at night, seasoning them with whatever was in the cupboard, and throwing them in a plastic bag to help deal with his daily 4:00pm hunger pangs. His coworkers would look over with curiosity when they heard the afternoon crunching, and inevitably he would offer up some snacks. They were a hit! That’s when he realized he was on to something special, but it would be a while before he had the idea to start a business.

Jimmy and Greg would frequently discuss the many problems with our food system: it’s responsible for the current obesity and diabetes epidemics, it’s bad for the planet, and it creates an environment that perpetuates malnutrition and food insecurity. It had been over a year since Greg started making his chickpeas in that tiny NYC kitchen when everything finally clicked. Jimmy had finished a big real estate deal and they were brainstorming new projects for him to take on. It was on a whim that Greg suggested they start a business to create a better snacking alternative. He never expected Jimmy to get as excited as he did. And just like that, they couldn’t stop talking about how the broken food system was ripe for the 2Armadillos revolution.

You can see info their snacks here.

Looking forward to seeing how the store turns out.



34 Comment

  • This should go very nicely with Sticky Fingers right around the corner and the new Vegan bistro on Georgia. I had no idea there was such a large vegan population in the area but it looks like the demand is there.

  • I’ll definitely try it out. But I fear it will only stir my hummus hunger and I’ll have to go full falafel after.

  • justinbc

    I’ve had some of their product at various events and the stuff is actually really flavorful. Depending on the price point I would pick some up again for snacks for sure.

    • This is one of those little things that annoys me for no good reason. If the meaning wouldn’t be changed by dropping the word “point” I don’t think “price point” should be used. “Depending on the price I would pick some up again for snacks for sure.” would work perfectly fine without the unnecessary word. We aren’t talking about demand curves.

  • binpetworth

    Sounds tasty, but are they going to sell anything else besides these roasted chickpea snacks?

  • jim_ed

    Roasting chickpeas in your hands sounds incredibly painful and terribly unhygienic. I’d say they should use a pan, but maybe that adds all the evil gluten?

  • This sounds really fun!

  • I generally concertedly eschew establishments with a plethora of verbosity compounded by overflow of irrelevant background stories and philosophy. Plus roasted chickpeas are too easy to make at home! Roast them – sprinkle on some spices – done!

    • Agreed. One can of chickpeas plus 45 mins in the oven plus your choice of spices. Easy!

    • I also make them myself, but would buy roasted chickpeas once in a while if I need a quick snack or something more interesting to contribute to a meeting at work that has snacks, that sort of occasional purchase. So by selling their bags of peas inside other businesses (sandwich shops, Yes! or small markets) scattered around the city I could see this being a viable business. But as the only way to pay the rent? That’s a looooot of chickpeas being sold every month, and everyone has to go to Columbia Heights to get them. I hope they’ve done the market research and I’m wrong.

  • I love roasted chickpeas, but this really strikes me as a niche market for such a high-profile location.

    • I agree. I love *this company’s* roasted chickpeas, but can’t imagine they’d sell enough volume at this location to pay the rent. Maybe this will be mostly, if not entirely office space … but if it is, I wonder why they’d choose a prime retail location.

  • Looks like a neat place, look forward to checking it out

  • Was really hoping Jamba Juice would open in that location!

  • i don’t get it

  • there stuff is seriously expensive. it’s available at whole foods. so easy to make at home.

    • So is pasta but that doesn’t stop most people from throwing $100 on a meal for two at sub par Italian joints around town.

      • Where in this fair city will you spend $100 for two on a couple pasta dishes? Maybe with a bottle or two of wine thrown in…

        DC is pricey, but isn’t that crazy yet.

  • I’ve seen these at Whole Foods and Each Peach–waaaaay too expensive for an easy snack to make yourself (as the founder apparently did for years).

  • I know these dudes (M&A). They care about nutrition and they make a damn tasty snack. I cannot attest to their prices, but I’m very happy to see a local business come in and will certainly try to support it. Good for you guys!

    • I’m also a big supporter of local business – but if you sell a bag of chickpeas at $2.50, which I’d estimate would be $2.00 profit, how many bags a day would you need to pay rent/expenses and income?

      What I’d REALLY love is to have some roasted chestnut carts!

  • I know these chickpeas well, and they’re worth every penny (aka, price point)! I hear they’re using this space for office mostly, but here’s hoping they sell some there too.

  • PoP thanks for the shoutout!

    We appreciate all of the comments and thoughts. We are still setting up our space to full occupy, and it will be primarily office space. It is just short-term and helping 2Armadillos get systems in place while reducing vacant space on the plaza. All of the support we have received is helping us reduce our costs and spread our impact of better ingredients and better snacks. Thank you so much!


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