Beloved DC-Area Pickle Purveyor Number 1 Sons Is Closing

The last day for pickles, kimchi, and kraut at local farmers markets is August 29.

Photo via Number 1 Sons' Facebook page.

Beloved pickle and fermented foods company Number 1 Sons will close after a decade in business. The DC-area farmers market staple will sell its last crunchy pickles, kimchis, and sauerkrauts at local markets the weekend of August 28 and 29 (see final market schedules in DC, Maryland, and Virginia here). 

Owners Yi Wah and Caitlin Roberts posted a farewell message on their website, explaining the reason for the company’s closure: they’re unable to continue to operate in their current space. During the pandemic, the pickle purveyors pivoted to delivery, banding together with other small, local makers and farms like Breadfurst and Path Valley Growers for grocery boxes (free at one time for hospital workers). 

“Such a business transformation is only possible with incredible community or massive resources,” say the owners in their statement. “Guess which one we had? 🙂 Our customers trusted us. Our team met a mountain of unknowns with grace and grit to make 30,000 home deliveries of local food in 2020. And, our partners embodied flexibility as we all figured everything out on the fly. We bit off a lot during the beginning of the pandemic, and, this year, we re-reconfigured and returned to our farmers’ market roots. Thanks for standing with us these last few years while the world spun unpredictably.”

Number 1 Sons is one of several longtime local makers to close up shop recently. Beer company 3 Stars Brewing and the makers of Green Hat Gin shuttered DC operations in July. The restaurant community has also recently lost businesses, including Filipino standout Bad Saint, Rappahannock Oyster Company at Union Market, Espita Mezcaleria in Shaw, and short-lived fine dining restaurant Newland on Capitol Hill.

Washingtonian has reached out to Number1Sons for comment. You can read their full statement here. 

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.