Co Co Sala Coming to Union Market this Spring

by Prince Of Petworth April 2, 2013 at 11:30 am 48 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user laurabl

Last we heard about some new vendors coming to Union Market at 1309 5th Street, NE. Turns out the chocolate shop will be a Co Co Sala – from a press release:

DC’s critically acclaimed restaurant, late night lounge, and chocolate boutique Co Co. Sala (929 F Street NW; Washington, DC; 202-347-4265; www.cocosala.com), officially announced today that it will be opening a chocolate shop at Union Market in DC.

The shop is tentatively scheduled to open this Spring just in time for Mother’s Day. Nisha Sidhu, co-owner of Co Co. Sala, discussed why this opening time is extra sweet to her. “I have very fond childhood memories of visiting the market with my mother. Through her own love for fresh, unique dishes and as the perfect entertaining hostess, she taught me how important food is in bringing family and friends together. I strive to teach my own children the same. Opening at Union Market around this beautiful time of year when we pay tribute to the most important women in our lives, would be a blessing.”

The decision for Co Co. Sala to open in Union Market was not a difficult one. Santosh Tiptur, Executive & Pastry Chef of Co Co. Sala, explains: “Since its opening in 2008, Co Co. Sala has received overwhelming support from the Community. Bringing the community together and giving them a place to connect has always been an important goal to us. Union Market provides a great place for people to connect to fresh food, local artisans and the community. We are extremely excited to be opening at Union Market – a venue which has quickly blossomed into a foodie haven for all in DC.”

Co Co. Sala will feature artisanal chocolates beautifully presented in award-winning packaging along with other chocolate indulgences such as the popular chocolate enrobed bacon and hot co co. pops. Its unique collection of artisanal chocolates includes intriguing flavors such as Banana Ginger, Rosemary Caramel, Chipotle, Peanut Butter & Jelly, Mango Lassi, and many more. Seasonal chocolate gift items will be offered as well as enchanting “chocolate art”. All chocolates are made in DC using the finest and freshest ingredients such as Valrhona couverture without any preservatives or additives.

  • Anonymous

    CoCo Sala is awful, overpriced, and preening-ly gauche. Thumbs down.

    I really don’t understand how Union Market can survive over the long haul. It seems like such a gimmick. Things are way too expensive to go there for everyday purchases. If it was a real European-style food market filled with individual no-frills seller stalls at competitive prices, I would probably be there every weekend.

    • Eric

      Harvey’s Market is actually great for meats and things. They used to have a really great produce vendor from Maryland that they dropped for Almaja Farms. Do not go to Almaja Farms. Terrible produce and for some reason it always costs exactly twenty dollars no matter what you get. The rest of the Market is a pretty much out of my price range.

    • Anonymous

      How will Union Market survive? Just like Eastern Market and Georgetown eateries have – there are people willing to pay it. Just because you expect $0.99 hipster falaffels and empanadas everywhere you go doesn’t make it so. Union Market, for the most part, has very high quality food/ingredients, and it has already been prepared so there is a premium to pay for that. Same as the hot food bar at Harris Teeter. I mean really, how cheap do you think it should be??

      • I think the point is that while it’s marketed itself as a food market, it’s not really one.

        Go to the large food markets in Berlin, Budapest, or Madrid – lots of vendors in individuals stalls selling the freshest products that are trucked in. The prices are very reasonable and you can do all your shopping there. They are sort of like our weekend green markets, but on steroids.

        Union Market is just an upscale facsimile, with no two vendors selling the same items, thus ensuring that they don’t compete on price. That keeps it “upscale” and expensive.

        • otberbur

          The vendors at Union Market consider themselves artisinal producers, and consequently don’t compete on price. The same is generally true at the Dupont Circle Farmer’s Market, where, in the summer lots of purveyors sell the same produce, but few bargains are available. Prices are typically higher than those at Whole Foods, much less a chain grocery. Some people pay high prices for big-ticket sporting events, some for big-ticket entertainment, some for fancy clothes, others will pay more to get a higher-quality food item.

  • Anonymous

    can i get a lunch at union market for under 8 bucks?

    • Colhi

      Yes. I have bought lunch at DC empanadas and Takorean, both for under $8.

      • Anonymous

        ok cool. thanks. i’ll check them out. all my friends have been and have told me of the exorbitant prices of things.

        • Colhi

          It is expensive but like anything else, you can find decent prices if you look. I find the butcher in the back right corner of the market pretty reasonable and the meats are really good. (Also, really nice people.) I also think the cheese vendor is comparable to high end cheese places elsewhere in the city.

          I haven’t found the prices at Union market to be that different from Eastern market in terms of meat/cheese vendors. But your mileage may vary!

    • Walk over to Litteri’s for a sandwich or New Young’s Deli for a plate of bulgogi. For $8 you can kill yourself there.

      • Anonymous

        It kills me to hear my friends say, “It’s so great to finally have a good market option in the area.” I ask them if they’d ever bothered to try Litteri’s or one of the Korean spots, let alone any of the other fantastic vendors in the larger market.

  • anonfoodie

    CoCo Sala is awful but so is Union Market. While I love the idea, and like many of the vendors, it fails miserably at being a sibling to either Chelsea Market (NY) or the Ferry Building (SF). It’s like the jealous distant cousin that thinks it’s better than the successful member of the family.

    And, no you can’t get lunch at Union Market for $8. You can at Chelsea Market.

    • Anonymous

      or any other urban market i’ve ever been to.

      • Anonymous

        Union Market would be fine with half the people at half the price.

        • Eric

          You can absolutely get lunch for under eight dollars at Union Market. Maybe not at Rappenhock or Red Apron, but elsewhere. (Actually, I never eat at UM; I usually go to A Litteri’s which is adjacent to it instead). I consider myself fairly critical of DC bourgie pursuits but the hate UM is getting is baffling. It’s a great place to have in the neighborhood, and truth be told, if you keep an eye on a budget, the prices for produce/meat are more or less comparable to Whole Foods.

          • Anonymous

            complaints about prices ≠ hate.

    • Colhi

      Hipsters markets are SOOOOO much better in NYC.

      • Anonymous

        is it hipster? i have no idea. but lexington market in baltimore is cheap.

        • Colhi

          Most things in Baltimore are cheaper than DC, primarily because real estate is cheaper. I also think comparing an existing neighborhood market (Lexington, Eastern Market, etc.) many that have been there for 100 years or more to something that is newly being built is a bit of comparing apples and oranges.

          UM is a fun, destitination place with wine and cheese lunches as well as interesting places to buy food. It’s almost an upscale food court in a lot of ways. It’s not a cheap neighborhood market, it’s a localized version of whole foods. It may be your thing or not.

          • Anonymous

            I totally agree. I don’t understand the hate. Union Market is great for the neighborhood whether it’s your thing or not. Clearly people like it as it is always packed.

            I do hope they will listen to what people are saying and improve over time. I agree that the produce selection is absolutely pathetic. I really wish they had more/better options. The meat selection is actually pretty good, so I will continue to go there for that (and for smoked hummus and Peregrine espresso).

          • Anonymous

            I got some Spanish chorizo at Red Apron. Very happy with it. Not sure where else I would get stuff to make my Jose Andres recipes.

          • Anonymous

            the market has been there for a long time, it’s only recently rehabbed. i do think it’s fair to compare.

          • Anonymous

            As the other person said, the market has been there a long time. It was rehabbed because of a fire. I used to do a lot of my shopping at the market before the rehab and it was affordable. It seems like a lot of people on here were not even aware this market existed before it was redone.

        • It’s not a hipster market. If we’re going to make sweeping generalizations, it’s more of a bourgeois-bohemian, “limousine liberal” market.

  • Anonymous

    I agree that its way too expensive, but I think some of you are suffering from Yogi Berra syndrome: “No one goes there anymore, its two crowded.” I’ve been there a couple of times in the last 6 weeks, and on weekends its almost too crowded to move.

    • JB

      Agreed. I really like Union Market even if a bit more expensive than ideal. I think it is not a gimmick and will only be more and more crowded as some of the apartments nearby come online.

      And you can get a couple tacos at Takorean for less than $8 (which may not be enough to fill all up, but I would count it as a lunch). I’m guessing you can also eat for under $8 at DC Empanadas.

  • Lots of complaints about Union market being expensive. Is it any more expensive than the vendors at Eastern Market?

    I’ve been once and thought it was cute and my lunch cost about $10 or $11 at Takorean (I added a bottle of water to my taco order).

    • Anonymous

      I think it’s really expensive compared to what it was before. I used to do some of my grocery shopping there and it was much, much more affordable. There was more of a variety of vendors and some even accepted food stamps. It’s pretty much exclusively a gourmet thing now. I wish they’d made more of an effort to attract a variety of vendors and options.

      • AG

        The produce vendor and maybe another accept food stamps.

        • Anonymous

          I’m really glad to hear that, but given the prices, I’m not sure it really matters. I think variety in the price points would make a bigger difference.

        • anon

          Harvey’s accepts WIC

          • Anonymous

            WIC doesn’t guarantee cheap food, you still pay their inflated prices.

  • jcm

    I love Union Market. I couldn’t do all of my shopping there for the week, but it’s fun to go and get lunch and look around. Harvey’s is a terrific butcher, and his pork is all pastured and his beef is all grass fed, if you care about that sort of thing.

  • AG

    While I definitely wish it were cheaper, Union Market is a specialty food market, not somewhere you’d go for your everyday groceries. They’ve got some interesting products and local vendors, and people are willing to pay for it. It also doesn’t help that there really is no incentive for lowering prices since this stuff isn’t available elsewhere in DC, whereas NYC for example, has so many older or ethnic businesses that carry specialty products at lower prices that while not as attractive, are easily available. I do hope they get more fresh produce as summer rolls around though.

  • anon

    CoCO Sala was already there this past weekend with some items. It seemed like they had only a few items for sale. Maybe this announces more of a commitment to the location.

  • grr

    haters gonna hate

  • Jay

    Surprised at the hate for Union Market. A lot better than the days when about your only grocery options east of Rock Creek were Spanish or Soviet or Secret Safeway. Kudos to the entrepreneurs like this who make investments in our city.

  • localeggs

    I do the majority of my shopping at Union Market, I think it’s great. Harvey’s Brothers is the best. Kinda sad that Bear’s Honeypot is no longer, I had a very solid CSA share there. A. Farms produce is terrible during the week, very strong on the weekend.

  • The last couple of times I went to the packed Union Market on the weekends, I looked around at all the people in their 20s and 30s and wondered where do they all get this money to spend here? Is this part of the DC bubble that will burst some day?

    • Anonymous

      No. ;)

      • Jay

        Yeah, how can successful young people without children afford to spend more than $8 for lunch on the weekend? It’s inconceivable!

        • Marcus Aurelius

          I do not think that word means what you think it means.

          • Anonymous

            Huh? Pretty sure OP has a good grasp on “inconceivable”.

          • Good lord, the movie references are flying high above the heads of PoPville today.

  • Anon X

    Pop commenters will bitch and moan about anything. Union Market is great and it will continue to be a roaring success. If its too expensive for you, don’t go. In case you didn’t notice, it’s not a grocery store. You can tell because there aren’t checkout lines, carts, or 30 aisles. So the fact you can’t find everything you’re looking for or that it is more expensive than a grocery store shouldn’t surprise you.

    • Anonymous

      i dont think anyone is surprised.
      and not all negative commentary is hate.

      is it a great addition to the city? yes. can i still think it’s too expensive and pine for something that i find better? also yes.

  • Caleb

    Union Market is an upscale market…not Safeway or Giant.

    How do people who live in this town live in such isolated bubbles that they do not realize that the DC Metro area has been one of the wealthiest regions in the country for decades. That wealth is just coming back into actual district lines from MD and VA. Buy your 500k plus home in Trinidad and grab $20-30 worth of lamb for dinner on your way home over at Union Market.

    • Anonymous

      You haven’t really thought that through.


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