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Park View Among N.W. Neighborhoods Seeing New Farmers Market as a Plus  

Accompanying images can be viewed starting on page 1 of the March 2020 issue pdf

By Larry Ray*

The opening of the year-round Park View Farmers Market at Hook Hall has been an exciting development for its neighbors, as well as residents within walking distance in adjacent neighborhoods.

Seeking out reactions from neighbors, the following were shared by email:

■ Petworth resident Daisy: “I love farmers markets and am so sad when the Petworth one closes for the season, but I understand since it is all outdoors. But this one is partially indoors and partially outdoors with heat. I love it

■ Park View resident LaShawn: How great that I can go to the farmers market with friends and have breakfast while shopping. An Innovative idea!

■  Columbia Heights resident Richard:  I have only been there once so far. It is so sad that when the building was originally repurposed from Murry’s this could not have happened. The folks who rent it have made some very attractive improvements. It will be interesting to see how it does come spring when more venders of vegetables have product. I would have to go again to to give an assessment. It is a great idea.

■ Columbia Heights resident Joe: The variety and quantity is amazing and I can have a cocktail!

The Park View Farmers Market was launched on January 12. 2020 and on opening day attracted not only Park View neighbors, but residents neighbors from Petworth, Mt. pleasant, Columbia Heights, and even Dupont Circle. Market Director Charles (“Chuck”) Brodsky confirmed that they will be open on Sundays year-round, and stating, “We have space for 30 vendors but we don’t want just any vendor. We want vendors who are passionate about what they sell.”

Among those vendors, the following three are examples of the kind Brodsky had in mind.

■ Sugar Bottom Farm in WEest Virginia’s Clay County is a full-service bee farm offering honey and support for home beekeeping.

■ Newville, Pennsylvania’s  Swirly Girl Creamery,  family-owned farm offers a large variety of cheese and cheese spreads made from their own herd of 25 goats and five Jersey cows.

■ WashFarm Markets, founded by the wife and husband team of decades-long DC residents Michelle Harburg and Chuck Brodsky, was created to address the challenge of bringing local food to local consumers in the Park View neighborhood. When not at the market or on a run, they enjoy cooking and spending time with their toddler and two kittens.

The opening of the year-round Park View Farmers Market at Hook Hall has been an exciting development for its neighbors, as well as residents within walking distance in adjacent neighborhoods.

Seeking out reactions from neighbors, the following were shared by email.

■ Petworth resident Daisy: “I love farmers markets and am so sad when the Petworth one closes for the season, but I understand since it is all outdoors. But this one is partially indoors and partially outdoors with heat. I love it

■ Park View resident LaShawn: How great that I can go to the farmers market with friends and have breakfast while shopping. An Innovative idea!

■  Columbia Heights resident Richard:  I have only been there once so far. It is so sad that when the building was originally repurposed from Murray’s [Grocery] this could not have happened. The folks who rent it have made some very attractive improvements. It will be interesting to see how it does come spring when more venders of vegetables have product. I would have to go again to give an assessment. It is a great idea.

■ Columbia Heights resident Joe: The variety and quantity is amazing and I can have a cocktail!

The Park View Farmers Market was launched on January 12. 2020 and on opening day attracted not only Park View neighbors, but residents neighbors from Petworth, Mt. pleasant, Columbia Heights, and even Dupont Circle. Market Director Charles (“Chuck”) Brodsky confirmed that they will be open on Sundays year-round, and stating, “We have space for 30 vendors but we don’t want just any vendor. We want vendors who are passionate about what they sell.”

Among those vendors, the following three are examples of the kind Brodsky had in mind.

■ Sugar Bottom Farm in West Virginia’s Clay County is a full-service bee farm offering honey and support for home beekeeping.

■ Newville, Pennsylvania’s  Swirly Girl Creamery,  family-owned farm offers a large variety of cheese and cheese spreads made from their own herd of 25 goats and five Jersey cows.

■ WashFarm Markets, founded by the wife and husband team of decades-long DC residents Michelle Harburg and Chuck Brodsky, was created to address the challenge of bringing local food to local consumers in the Park View neighborhood. When not at the market or on a run, they enjoy cooking and spending time with their toddler and two kittens.

What the Vendors Have Told Us

■ “We love having the opportunity to tap into the Park View community with our Greek goods. The neighborhood is vibrant and the market serves as a great meeting place, as well as a way to start the week supporting local!” (Slightly edited email from Katerina V. Georgallas, founder and owner of Mashtiha Bakery.)

■ “Wanting to expand our business outside West Virginia, and after much research in various markets we only applied to one, that was Park View. In just a few weeks I discovered I was surrounded by the best vendors in their field. Plus, we work under one of the best leadership team I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. We have [fallen] in love with the people in this area. They are very appreciative for this market and display great concern for the current state our Honeybees are in. We are very encouraged that not only have we found a new Market, but we have have the opportunity to share our love of the Honeybee and our pride in our products with some of the nicest people who truly appreciate their Farmers.” (Slightly edited email from Eric Grandon, owner of Sugar Bottom Farm.)

■ “[We are] an all natural, all local, artisan bread bakery . . .based in DC and only sells at farmers markets and a select few retail outlets. Our grain-forward, slow rising breads such as Sourdough, New York Rye, Whole Wheat Sourdough, Russian Black Bread, Harvest Grain, and Focaccia, to name a few, are enjoyed by bread lovers all over the DMV. In addition, we feature seasonal pastries such as Cobblers, Scones, Filled Brioche, and Pound Cakes.” (Slightly edited email from Chris Girardot, owner of RavenHook Bakehouse.)

■ “We are a plant based food company [which] makes Veenies. Veenies are plant powered sausages that stole the shape, convenience, and snap of a traditional sausage but removed the animal and highlights the vast flavors of the plant world. Come try our Jamaican sausage, made with plantains and a beautifully complex jerk marinade, or our Buffalo made with cauliflower, carrots, celery and a tangy spicy buffalo sauce, or our most familiar the Italian, made with eggplant, tomato, garlic, fennel and Italian herbs and spices. It is our mission to save the planet by providing a delicious alternative to animal based foods.” (Slightly edited email from Albert Smith, co-owner with wife Cait of Eat Well.)

About Hook Hall

Hook Hall, is located in the heart of the Park View neighborhood at 3400 Georgia Avenue, NW between Park Road and Morton Street. Owned by long-time nearby neighbor and event planner Anna Valero, she created what she calls this “dream space” in the building that once housed Murray’s Grocery that had been founded in DC in 1948, eventually growing to 50 outlets in the area.

This 13,500 square-foot space with its 25-foot ceilings, where coffee and pastries are offered in the mornings, easily accommodates events like this past January’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Power Hour which was attended by over 200 participants to hear a panel of successful business women discuss their career paths.

Other events held in the space Comedy Night, Yappy Hour, Fitbit, Redskins Hour, the Ultimate Influencer Party, among others.

As described by Valero, Hook Hall, “named in salute of a legendary pirate, . . . is inspired by the same pull of the sea and sense of adventure buccaneers are known to embrace. Enhanced with design elements and accents reminiscent of the oceans on which he sailed, Hook Hall has re-imagined an industrial . . . venue to offer a unique, multi-flex space in the burgeoning Park View/Petworth community. By day it serves as a neighborhood gathering place serving coffee and pastries and affording comfortable meeting and working space. By evening its 40-foot long bar, with a 32-tap system, turns into a tavern ready to serve as a local watering hole and celebration spot.”

* Senior writer Larry Ray,  has served on Advisory Neighborhood Commissions for both Dupont Circle and Columbia Height; he also has served as president of the North Columbia Heights Citizens Association. Presently, he is a member of the George Washington University Law School’s senior adjunct faculty teaching mediation and negotiation and is co-founder of Senatus, a new dispute resolution firm providing mediation services to the business community.

Copyright © 2020 InTowner Publishing Corp. & Larry Ray. Copyright © 2019 InTowner Publishing Corp. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited, except as provided by 17 U.S.C. §107 (“fair use”).