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PoP Preview – Smucker Farms Coming to 2118 14th St, NW

by Prince Of Petworth November 22, 2011 at 5:05 am 92 Comments

2118 14th St, NW – November 2011

Back in April we learned that Smucker Farms was coming to 2118 14th St, NW (between V and W.)

2118 14th St, NW – April 2011

Their Web site explains:

“Smucker Farms of Lancaster Co. makes a direct connection between the producers of food and products in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and consumers in Washington, DC. We focus on small farmers and producers, stocking our shelves with the best that Southeast Pennsylvania has to offer. Many of the small farmers in Lancaster, who are primarily Amish and Mennonite, have distanced themselves from the corporate food chain and are, instead, focusing on high quality artisan food and products.

The result is an explosion in the availability of grass fed beef, free range poultry and eggs, heirloom pork, European style cheeses, butters, and yogurts, and, of course, an abundance of organic leafy greens, root vegetables, and fruit. Smucker Farms also carries a wide variety of unique baked goods, canned products, dry goods, and handmade soaps. To best serve busy urbanites, we have prepared modern American take-away meals made in Lancaster for your home and office. For those who want a weekly variety of fresh produce and fruit, Smucker Farms is the pick-up point for a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program organized by a cooperative of Amish and Mennonite farmers in Lancaster. Handmade Amish furniture is scattered throughout the store to help you choose an item for pick up or delivery. Handmade toys can be put to the test in our Kids’ Corner.”

While they were still finishing stocking their shelves – it sorta gave me the feel of a much bigger Seasonal Pantry located by the Convention Center. Which is absolutely phenomenal news for U Street.

They’ll be soft opening this weekend and starting Monday will be open from 8am-8pm (though if folks request it, they can tweak those hours.) A sample of some of the goods after the jump.

Not everything’s for eating – they’ll also carry soaps, candles, and lots more:

Children’s corner:

  • Please tell me they sell scrapple. The Amish communities are doing God’s work with scrapple and headcheese. They’ll have to call it something else, though. Something trendy, urban, and vibrant like “Mennonite charcuterie.”

    • Bob

      +1,000. As a Philly transplant – I need scrapple. Sunday brunch is incomplete.

      • Kev29

        You can get Rapa at Safeway, Giant or Harris Teeter. Otherwise, whip up a batch at home. It’s actually pretty easy and delicious — http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1626,152171-240203,00.html

        • Anonymous

          How about Pork Roll?

          • Kev29

            Giant and Safeway for sure. Giant’s usually have the slice it yourself roll in a sack – which is f—ing heaven.

    • indc

      Yes, please! Although scrapple is basically the precursor to modern day Spam (and before the discovery of food coloring). I suspect though, given the locale, this will be a watered-down, yuppified, cookie-cutter shop that will be indistinguishable from the formulaic shops that litter 14th street. Not a bad thing, just not terribly inventive or novel. Like our very own Ballston.

      • victoria

        Scrapple is nothing like Spam. It’s long boiled pork neck bones (mostly) into which cornmeal is cooked. Add seasoning, chill, (the meat gelatin makes it firm) slice and fry.

        It’s actually like porky polenta – which would be a great yuppie name!

        • indc

          Ah, I did not know this. Thank you for the insight. I think you should trademark pork polenta.

          I remember recoiling as a kid when my parents would occasionally have these gray & black-speckled slabs of stuff for breakfast — and I actually had some myself but never quite acquired the taste for it. Maybe it’s time to rediscover it.

      • Leroy

        Where are you looking on 14th Street? Beyond the corner of U and 14th with Mickey D’s, Dunkin and Subway at the Corner, there isn’t one chain up and down 14th St. between CH and Thomas Circle…

        What exactly would you like 14th Street to look like? If you’re expecting an independent shop that only serves teas from Nepal in bulk or some other asinine niche idea, it ain’t gonna happen, cause there is no market for it. This is a pretty cool idea and I hope it takes off — why trample an idea before its even open?

        • mike

          Thank you for replying so I didn’t have to. What Leroy said!

  • anon

    Ugh…this obsession with adding the adjective “artisal” or “craft” in front of everything?

    Here is a clue dear consumers of the world. It is the same food / drink it was 5 years ago. You are just paying 20% more now because they added a feel good descriptor to its label.

    • Bloomingdude

      How come these places aren’t opening up at the southern end of Georgia Avenue?!?!

      BTW, I want me some pickled eggs.

      • Anonymous

        places don’t open themselves.

        • Bloomingdude

          Maybe that’s the problem…

          • Anonymous


            well played.

    • Anonymous

      and 5 years ago places were calling stuff artisinal and craft. it’s a marketing that been going on for a long time. it’s the entire thrust behind dean and deluca and whole foods and marvelous market and cowgirl creamery

      to suggest that organic is the same as conventional is not correct though.

  • LandofRollingO’s

    Just run the Acela from Lancaster to here.

  • Lindsay

    Does anyone else see the irony of buying local and humane when when there are local humans don’t have enough to eat?
    Of all of the storefronts on 14th, I think this is the most unfortunate place they could put this. I am sure it must taste fantastic, but I would have trouble purchasing something so over the top as “heirloom pork” if I had to walk past the entrance of Martha’s Table. I am sure that there is a market for this kind of store in the neighborhood, but at least for me it is an awkward and painful juxtaposition. Why do I need “heirloom pork” when there are people that don’t have anything? The dichotomy is much easier to ignore it when you are walking into Whole Foods on P because of all of the affluence around, but having the door of such a hunger specific place as Martha’s right there will make it much harder to suppress. It will either guilt people into avoiding the store or it will increase donations of unnecessarily overpriced items to Martha’s to assuage guilt.

    • Anonymous

      so because there are homeless in the area we should be getting chicken from unsustainable sources? I don’t think this is about opulence, but about paying for the actual cost of items — a choice that is good for the environment, your health, and the local economy. personally, I’m vegetarian so I won’t be getting any meat, but I much prefer people buy this stuff instead of the crap that comes out of industrial farming.

      I think maybe you should channel your rage onto the family that bought the $1,000 sundae, not the locals who are buying quality, responsible products.

      • Elza

        Yeah, this isn’t about buying expensive stuff just because you want fancy food, it is about buying the sustainable, ethical meat that we all should be eating anyway. I don’t see how not supporting industrial agriculture also means not supporting the poor.

        Then again, I’m someone who’d likely only purchase the eggs and meat at this business, not “artisnal” jam or something.

        • Elza

          OK, wait, I didn’t realize until looking at the picture more closely that this place is right IN BETWEEN two Martha’s Table storefronts. I thought it was just nearby.

          Seeing that, I do agree the location is weird, not because its wrong to buy organic products that are more expensive, but because it looks like it is affiliated with Martha’s Table. Passing by, I would assume that it was part of the organization and that some of the proceeds were going to their projects. I hope that perhaps they could end up working together? Otherwise, yeah, it is awkward.

    • anon

      “Why do I need “heirloom pork” when there are people that don’t have anything?”

      Have you ever heard of supply and demand? They have a right to open this store and sell anything that’s legal. If you don’t like it, don’t shop there!

      • Anonymous

        you missed the point.

      • indc

        There’s such a thing as heirloom pork? Vegetables, sure. But meats? That certainly gives new meaning to “aged meats.”

        • Anonymous

          pigs that produce fecund piglets?

        • Anonymous

          Yes, there is a big deal about protecting the genetics of this heirloom swine in case of disease outbreak. These people will fight to their death to protect the lines.

        • PG

          There’s ham from Spain that costs $20/lb or more. Great swine!

          • indc

            Ooo, Iberican ham. Expensive but yummy stuff.

        • Anonymous

          Yes, take a look into “heritage meats.” The industrialization of meats is an interesting story. Where there were once tens of breeds of pig, cow, chicken, raised for meat, industrialized meat producers just picked the one that they could fatten in the shortest amount of time, and wouldn’t get sick when stuck in a tiny pen for its whole life. And those were not necessarily the breed that tasted best or had the best texture. This has resulted in the near extinction of many delicious, delicious breeds that were common even 60 years ago.

          To save them, you must eat them.

    • gonzo

      because regular pork kills people, pollutes the world and treats workers one step above slavery. That’s why.

    • Anony

      I plan on enjoying my heirloom pork without the side of liberal guilt.

      • Janie4

        I’m actually excited about heirloom pork – modern pork has no fat.

      • anon

        I love reading liberal guilt posts that are sent from smart phones built by slave labor.

    • Michael

      I am 100% with you on this. Commenters thus far are totally missing the point. This “artisnal,” “yuppified,” “gentrified” restaurant is in the most “social-inequality-in-your-face” location possible– literally next to a DC institution that serves those who can’t even afford McDonalds. I guess devil’s advocates can say “why does location matter?” but this is too literal for my comfort zone.

      • Michael

        The location is totally insensitive.

        • Anonymous

          if you are judging this location as insensitive, then how do you judge whitman walker’s location being so close to the former brothel across the street? or So Others Might Eat across the street from a grocery store? or just about every homeless shelter being next door to a hotel or luxury condo building??? this is a city. there will be things next to each other. don’t pick on a local farm opening up a storefront. it’s about time this happened instead of the plethora of stores that ship artisanal goods in internationally.

      • Anonymous

        To be fair, McDonald’s is pretty expensive per serving.

        • Anonymous

          wtf? is it?

        • C

          If you had just ONE meal at McDonald’s per day you’d spend almost $50/week on food. I eat five meals a day and spend as much or less, and they’re a lot tastier and healthier. I do spend 1-3 hours cooking and grocery shopping every week, which I understand some people can’t do, but no one should be claiming fast food is a bargain.

    • Eli

      Does a homeless person sitting outside of a fine dining establishment prevent you from entering as well?

      • Anonymous

        sometimes, if i know them.

        because i know what that feels like though.

    • anon

      so then what would be acceptable type of store that could open in that space? if a clothing store opened up, would you have a problem with that because the same people that go to martha’s table couldn’t afford those clothes? would you feel better about this if this store planned to give/donate items to martha’s table (i don’t know that they are/will, but just suggesting)?

      • Michael

        I would feel better if this restaurant was some sort of project affiliated by Martha’s Table– give those interested jobs, and all of the dining proceeds going to the charity. It could be a great charity driver if the restaurant was good– could see some pretty charitable tips.

    • Everyone should have access to affordable, healthy, sustainably-produced food. Common Good City Farm (http://commongoodcityfarm.org) offers a low-or-no-cost CSA for food-insecure/low-income DC residents. It’s $10/week for a bag of food grown in LeDroit Park and we are able to offer free CSA shares to some, thanks to folks in our community who sponsor shares for others. We also support regional farmers like those vending through Smuckers and our region’s producer-only farmers markets. The fact that not everyone can afford to buy their food at Smuckers or farmers markets should not be an indictment of farmers vending through these outlets.

    • saf

      “Does anyone else see the irony of buying local and humane when when there are local humans don’t have enough to eat?”

      Nope. I see it as one part of contributing to creating a better world. There are MANY things that contribute to improving the world. Helping our neighbors who need help is another. Cleaning up around our homes is another. So many things to do – why avoid one because you can’t do them all right now?

  • In the neighborhood

    Lindsay — I hope you have someone guiding you around DC by the hand because you must be walking around with your eyes closed constantly. How do you go anywhere without seeing a homeless person or poverty? For that matter, you must NEVER watch TV. Stupid argument. I welcome small business operations to the neighborhood.

    • Michael

      I think the point here is that this literal juxtaposition is totally insensitive to its location. All of these comments reflect that fact.

      • victoria

        Most ridiculous argument ever. “Sensitivity” to poverty means addressing it whether you actually trip over it in person or not.

        • Leroy

          I think this is the best comment I’ve seen in this thread.

  • Anyway

    You are paying 20% more because these are locally sourced products and they are organic, if you don’t like it then don’t shop there. Plain and simple. I’m happy the people who farm are getting paid.

    I hear your point, Lindsay. Given that I live very close to both of these spots I’m excited and ambivalent given the irony of where Smuckers is located. My take on this is that if I can afford to buy “heirloom pork” as someone put it, I can take an hour out of my day to volunteer at Martha’s Table or Bread for the City. What’s wrong with both?

  • andy

    Wow. They can make my lunch in Pennsylvania, put it on a truck, and make money on it in DC.

    • Anonymous

      lots of places makes their stuff elsewhere and sell it here.

    • andy

      it just makes me think of the markup we must get on the actual cost to somebody in Lancaster County.

  • Charlie Adler

    FYI – there is no shortage of food for the homeless in DC..repeat ad nauseum..whoever perpetuated this fallacy isn’t homeless or has never talked to a homeless person in the District (or NoVa)..don’t believe me? Ask the source..

    • Michael

      Shortage “of artisnal,” “free range” food though? Your point… is not the point. Anyone who’s ever volunteered at Martha’s Table will agree with you on that– they have TONS of food on hand, as well as help– there’s definitely a “business of charity” they run, shuttling in group after group of volunteers. But that has nothing to do with the fact that the location of this restaurant is totally insensitive.

      • anon

        Right now I feel like playing the world’s smallest violin for you.

      • 14th Streeter

        It’s not a restaurant. Its a store that sells food.
        The fact that you can’t even pick up on that fact makes me think you are just commenting to piss people off.

    • Anony

      Yet, miraculously, I’ve never seen an emaciated homeless person in DC.

    • You sure about that? The Capitol Area Food Bank was going to have to charge recepients for fresh produce until a donor provided 1 million to avoid the cost. http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-politics/capital-area-food-bank-to-get-1-million-donation-to-eliminate-fee/2011/08/21/gIQAfqnHXJ_story.html

  • Duster

    If you guys feel so bad about passing the homeless as you go to this store, then why don’t you buy them some food there and give it to them. Plus, these farmers struggle to make a small margin how it is, so any way to help them out is a plus. Small businesses create jobs and this lift people out of poverty.

  • 14th Streeter

    And here is why retail in DC sucks. People making up insane, stupid, liberal guilt arguments about where a private business chooses to open its doors.
    This storefront used to house public accountants. Are not customers going into that business who actually had enough income to worry about an accountant to prepare their taxes not a juxtaposition against the people waiting in line to Martha’s who couldn’t afford food or clothing, much less a public accountant?
    Where will this end? When privately owned property can only be leased to the most sensitive possible business who won’t upset a single vocal minority?

    There’s also a full service grocery across the street, I don’t see that upsetting anyone. Why the nitpicking? Focus on real problems, JESUS.

    • Prince Of Petworth

      While vocal, it is my belief (and time will certainly tell) those who are objecting to the location are a tiny minority. Of course they are entitled to their opinion but I’d encourage people to keep things in perspective. Based on twitter, other comments here, my own personal discussions – this is the first I’ve ever heard an objection of location. If I were betting man, and I happen to be a betting man, I’d say those objecting are not representative of how most feel.

      I’d also encourage those who are outraged to speak with the owner, Eric, who is about as nice a person as you will ever meet.

      • Totally agree, PoP! I’m from Delaware, near the DE/PA state line, and I for one am thrilled at the prospect of this store! Went to an Amish farmer’s market a few weeks back in MD, and it got me excited for this all over again! Fresh-baked pies and breads, amazing cured meats, jams and jellies, and hand-crafted wood products!!!

      • KenyonDweller

        I totally agree. There’s nothing wrong with the location. The neighborhood can, and should, support a mix. This is what makes it interesting.

      • Denizen of Tenallytown

        If I were betting man, and I happen to be a betting man…

        We all know that, PoP. You bought a house in Petworth!

    • anon

      let’s be friends.

    • In the neighborhood

      Thank you 14th Streeter. WELL SAID!

  • Bloomingdude

    At some point, 14th street may not be an appropriate place for Martha’s Table.

    The goal should not be to keep areas “needy.” Rather, social service agencies and groups should move to where the need is.

    If you’ve ever been to the vibrant Del Ray neighborhood in Alexandria, you’ll see that the Salvation Army and Alexandria Social Services are located in the middle of its very nice business district. They were set up when Del Ray was a pit. Rather than wishing that Del Ray returned to pittsville or questioning the morality of Cheesetique being close to social services, the Salvation Army and Social Service Agency should sell their property, make a bundle of money, move to where they are needed, and use the profit for the poor.

  • anon

    Will they sell any vegan artisan pork?

  • Laura

    This is hilarious.

    I’m from Lancaster County and I just think they are romanticizing what the Amish/Mennonite create and provide.

    They DO grow food and move to the “back-to-the-basics” when it comes to growing and preparing food.

    However, they are not artisan. They grow and prepare basic food. Most of it is super fatty and unhealthy.

    I just hope they keep it affordable. Because if you take a drive up to Lancaster, it’s affordable stuff.

    • Tres

      It’s not necessary unhealthy to eat super fatty food, provided you live a lifestyle that requires significantly more calories than the typical sedentary office worker.

      Just saying, if you burn it, you’ve earned those butter saturated mashed potatoes. Mmm…

  • AK Fresh

    This is about bringing us the best food from farm country to our kitchens. Let’s resist the urge to turn this into a Huffington Post debate. I happen to think it’s all right we have a place like Smucker Farms in our neighborhood. Now if y’all ready for some heirloom porks say yeah.

  • I’m going to maul the shit out of some heirloom pork and their other goods. Oh, and I donate and help out at Martha’s table. If you have a problem with it, volunteer, donate and help Martha’s table out. People that can afford this place can also afford a little of their time and effort to help out places like Martha’s table. Oh, by the way, there’s a hip, nice carry out place right around the corner getting all kinds of pub called Fast Gourmet. Do you want to that to go too? Support local business and help our charities out while you’re at it and you wouldn’t feel so guilty.

  • pc

    I seriously cannot believe the ridiculousness of the comments on this post. I live right behind/next to this place, as well as Martha’s Table. W St has continued to have numerous issues (drugs, shootings, etc.) and has been generally resistant to some of the changes going on elsewhere in the neighborhood. Having this storefront now occupied and by one that is likely to do well is a GOOD THING for that corner. Why is it insensitive to have this store next to Martha’s Table? Is it insensitive to have Eatonville, Marvin or Busboys and Poets so close when there are people nearby who cannot afford to eat at any of those establishments? I just don’t get the logic. I am surprised no on has said that it was wrong for the space to be previously occupied by an accountant when there were people without money sitting around out front! It is not like Martha’s Table is being booted to build this. It is a new store going into a vacant spot that is likely to bring in some customers. I look forward to having them nearby.

    • In the neighborhood

      I can’t agree more. I, too, live in the neighborhood. I don’t see how a store between two portions of Martha’s Table is insenstive. Again, stupid statement that does not fly with me.

      What flies with me is – a small business that works with farmers (who operate a small margin) that will positively add to the neighborhood.

      BTW, I volunteer with the homeless and give money each year to Martha’s Table.

  • Eckingtonite

    It might even bring some awareness of and interest in volunteering/supporting Martha’s Table.

    If you’re going to say this place shouldn’t move in to an area where there are disadvantaged people, because it is “insensitive,” then the same argument should apply when the same people argue that well-off areas should have lower-income housing mixed in – only nice areas should have a mix, but not less-nice areas?

    I don’t think it’s the people using Martha’s Table that are offended and commenting here; it’s people being offended on their behalf – which is, in and of itself – offensive.

  • Anonymous

    The grumpy high-rent philistines who object to a metro accessible specialized non-chain food store that offers food that isn’t obscenely processed and not made on an industrial factory scale have a pitiful disconnect with this country’s food system and its consequences. It certainly isn’t imposing a lifestyle change and is no threat to the revered Giant or Whole Foods where you can buy the same factory farmed berries from California all year round for $2 more than Safeway. It fulfills a demand for those who are as conscientious about how they feed themselves as the resentful put into their luxury electronics.

  • Eric Smucker

    Hello Everyone,

    Owner here. We just passed our opening health inspection so I have had a busy morning, but I was very happy to see the PoP giving us some publicity in advance of our finishing the stocking of the store and the opening of the doors.

    I also wanted to say that I have felt nothing but welcome from my new neighbors. This includes the staff at Martha’s Table and the people they serve on a daily basis. The Table is an amazing institution and the variety of their work often goes unheralded. For those of you interested we have always planned on supporting them as we can, as tons of individuals and small businesses in the area already do. The fact that we are next door just makes it so much easier for us to do so.

    If for whatever reason you feel like our location on this block is in poor form, I would like to welcome you to at least come visit and get to know the stories behind the people who make the food and products we sell here. You may feel differently after walking through our doors.

    • mike

      Looking forward to seeing you often! Welcome to the neighborhood.

  • Anonymous

    I had an artisanal, hand crafted cheese from a local dairy that uses only organic cows, housed in a building which was hand built by skilled craftsmen, using local timbers, which were salvaged and reclaimed from the basin of a local spring. All of the building materials are organic, reclaimed, salvaged, hand hewn, and crafted by artisans. The cows are hand selected by the master cheesemaker, and only cows of premium pedigree proceed to the next round of selection. Once the cows are selected, they are relocated to the production building, where they spend their days. To soothe the cows and aid in the milking process, local musicians, playing vintage instruments, are brought in. The cheese itself is made by hand, in small batches, of limited quantity, and is subject to an aging process which involves converting locally grown herbs into a mist which is then introduced into the atmosphere around the aging building (also handcrafted), such that each batch of cheese has a slight tinge of locally grown and harvested artisan herbs. It is quite something at $48.00/lb.

    • TonyR

      You kind of people make me sick. Didn’t you consider the impact on the beaver population when you yanked the timber from their aquatic environment? I’d only have considered your cheeses if you’d grown the trees from locally sourced acorns and then harvested an appropriate amount after conducting a full consultative process with the local squirrel collective.

  • kdogdc

    This business is a positive addition to the neighborhood. Additionally, given Eric’s comments, they are socially responsible too in that they will SUPPORT Martha’s Table.

    In light of this spirited discussion I have added Martha’s Table to my list of charities in my CFC contributions.

  • @ Eric Smucker – Welcome the neighborhood! My wife and I have been anticipating your arrival. Thanks for the new (and great) addition to our community.

  • 14th Streeter

    Welcome to the neighborhood Eric, best of luck with your new endeavor; the build-out looks great as well.

  • Gary

    Stopped by today and they were open. Great addition to the neighborhood – and a good source for bread!

  • Jamie

    Yes, inconvenient dichotomies remain whether we walk past them or not. I’m excited about the fresh yogurts and cheeses and produce. Thanks for bringing us local goodies and welcome to the neighborhood, Smuckers!


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