Five years after bringing gourmet sandwiches and hand-crafted charcuterie to Petworth, Straw Stick & Brick Delicatessen will close on July 31. Owners Carolina and Jason Story will also cease selling at local farmers markets.
Carolina’s father owned the building that housed the deli. But after a heart collapse and transplant, and with an eye toward retirement, the family decided to sell the property. Rather than dealing with a new landlord, Carolina opted to sell the business along with it.
“We love having the deli here, but we really had gotten away from making charcuterie the that way we used to,” Carolina says. She explains that Jason broke away from the business a few years ago to teach culinary skills at the Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School in Columbia Heights. Instead, sandwiches became the bulk of Straw Stick & Brick’s business.
“I’m happy with what the business became. It’s just that it wasn’t what we thought we were going to grow old doing,” she says.
Carolina declined to reveal who bought the building and the business, but she says the new owner plans to renovate the space and open up some kind of restaurant and retail space. She’s hoping he’ll continue to serve sandwiches to the neighborhood.
The deli originally opened in 2012—before Petworth became a dining destination. (It was originally called Three Little Pigs but ended up changing its name to Straw Stick & Brick after New York charcuterie shop Les Trois Petits Cochons filed a trademark infringement lawsuit.)
In its five years, the deli expanded to local farmers markets and continued turning out some of the city’s best sandwiches. In March, Washingtonian critic Ann Limpert raved about the deli’s roast beef and cheddar sandwich with pickled onions and chili sauce.
Carolina will be personally making those sandwiches in the shop’s final days. After that? She’s still trying to figure out her next move.
“I opened the shop when I was 21,” she says, “so I want to live life. I want to spend time with my parents.”