What to Snag at Pop Up Grocer Before It Leaves DC

The traveling shop—which highlights female, BIPOC, and queer brands—wraps at Union Market this weekend.

Pop Up Grocer at Union Market. Photograph by Reema Desai

Pop Up Grocer, a traveling shopping experience that highlights conscious local and national brands—over half women-owned, and a quarter BIPOC and queer-owned—is wrapping up its residency near Union Market after Sunday, June 5 (1262 Fifth Street, NE). The market stocks more than 120 brands and 400-plus products in food, beverage, home, body, and pet care—and is perfect for snagging a last minute treat or Father’s Day gift. We chatted with founder Emily Schildt about her favorite finds for the DC shop.

What are some of the national brands you’re most excited about?

AYO is bringing classic West African flavors and dishes to everyday mealtime. Bagelista delivers fresh, New York-style bags to homes across the country. Brune Kitchen makes a delicious, soft-baked cookie from a tahini base (I love everything with tahini, personally). Haven’s Kitchen has premiered its newest tasty sauce, Edamame Green Goddess, with mint and basil. Immorel cans a sparkling mushroom-based tea. Egglife creates an alternative, keto-friendly wrap from egg whites  that I seriously can’t get enough of.

Which locally made items are top of your list? 

We’ve launched District Snacks, a cookie dough-flavored almond butter, inside this store. It is also a queer-owned brand. Don’t miss the chips on the bottom! Mocktail Club offers a convenient canned cocktail alternative in flavors inspired by travel. I’m partial to the Manhattan Berry, as a Manhattanite. Amazi has a tasty line of jackfruit and plantain-based snacks. The founder, Renee [Dunn], is a local DC interval trainer.

What are some of your favorite items that are unique to the DC location?

Inside our DC location we have introduced Kin Bloom [non-alcoholic rose], Outstanding Foods Cheese Balls, Nantucket Crisps, B.T.R. Bar in Cherry Chocolate Chip, BowlCut, Chewsy gum, and Perfy [superfood soda]—to name just a few. We have also introduced our version of “Plinko,” which you may recall from watching The Price Is Right. Through this fun game, you can win everything from a free compliment from our team to spending dollars to use within the store.

Father’s Day is coming up. What are some of your favorite products to give dads? 

The answer to this question depends, of course, on what your unique dad is drawn to. But generally, a few great gift items in this shop include the Discovery Collection from Opopop, hot sauces from Hot n Saucy or Pisqueya, olive oil from Brightland, MUD|WTR mushroom coffee alternative, and Proxies from Acid League (a wine alternative). Oh! And sunblock from Everyday Humans—I know my dad is out in the yard gardening often and I’m always reminding him to wear sunscreen.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.