The corner store is making a comeback—but with some artisan flare. Odd Provisions in Columbia Heights is the latest in a new generation of small markets catering to the eat-local crowd. It joins the ranks of Union Kitchen Grocery, Old City Market and Oven, Each Peach Market, and others.
The shop, which opens Dec. 2, comes from Room 11 vets Jessica Woods and Rachel Mowrer. “It’s incredibly embarrassing to say it’s inspired by anything in Brooklyn,” Woods says. But it is.
Woods started day-dreaming about bringing an artisan grocery store to the neighborhood after grabbing a coffee at the Greene Grape in Brooklyn. “I was just amazed by how many products they were able to fit in a small corner store,” she says.
Odd Provisions supplies a mix of grocery staples, produce, beer and wine, plus DC-made products. The 900-square-foot shop makes its own grab-and-go salads and sandwiches, including one with pimento cheese and Gordy’s pickles.
The owners will also offer prepared foods from their restaurant friends. To start, Izakaya Seki will prepare onigiri, Japanese rice balls. Bento boxes may come down the line.
Woods and Mowrer are trying to give the corner store the same kind of attention to atmosphere and hospitality that restaurants do. “You don’t always get that shopping,” Woods says.
To that end, they’ve uncovered transom windows to bring in more sunlight and make the space more inviting. Plus, “we’re just really trying to hire nice people.”
Odd Provisions. 3301 11th St., NW. Open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
CORRECTION: The initial version of this story stated that Odd Provisions opened Friday. It opens this upcoming Friday.