Community market offers warm shopping experience with fresh, seasonal products.
Humanitarian-minded Jeanlouise Conaway and Emily Friedberg first met in 2002, when both volunteered for USAID projects in Africa. The two shared a curiosity for how others lived and both wanted to make the world a better place.
Among their similarities is a keen connection to nature, the love of good food and a profound respect for where food is sourced. Those traits led to the idea to open the Each Peach Market in 2013 — a place where they could create an approachable and warm shopping experience that highlights fresh, high-quality local products.
“We wanted to have a community-oriented market that sold high-quality product with excellent customer service,” says Friedberg. “We wanted to create a store that we would want to shop in.”
For the past four years, Each Peach has provided the Mount Pleasant/Columbia Heights neighborhood of Washington, D.C., with a welcoming place to shop. “Our customers are by-and-large residents of our neighborhood and reflect that demographic. We serve growing families moving into the neighborhood, as well as those who have been here for a long time,” says Friedberg. “I think we are known for our friendly staff and high-quality food. Products that get people in the door are sandwiches, bread, milk and farm fresh eggs.”
Down The Produce Aisle
For the produce department, the store works to merchandise products by giving the customers information beyond the label. “We introduce them to the product — including whether it is local, organic or both — and give them a bit of the history or origin, flavor profiles, and common or extraordinary ways to prepare it,” says Marge Carrice, produce buyer for the store. “We like to highlight items that customers may be less familiar with, items that are trendy or items that may be misunderstood. Recent examples include hakurei turnips, kohlrabi and pomelos.”
Carrice notes that although space is limited, the store makes the most of it within the produce department. “We have a produce case full of bagged greens, mushrooms, citrus, celery, carrots, parsnips, cabbage, fennel, leeks, etc.,” she says. “A large produce table displays herbs, bunched greens, winter squash, apples and pears, broccoli, cauliflower and more. We have a small potato and onion section, and bananas hang from hooks above.”
Each Peach sources primarily from local and organic produce vendors, including Tuscarora Organic Growers Cooperative in Houstontown, PA, Four Seasons Produce in Ephrata, PA,and Coastal Sun Belt Produce in Laurel, MD. Carrice feels this sourcing model is an important distinction that separates it from some of the larger grocery stores in the area.
“This translates into us having a very seasonally focused produce section,” says Carrice. “You will not find basil or strawberries in the produce case during the winter. We encourage customers to eat with the seasons and be mindful of what is available locally.”
One unique marketing tool the store likes to use for produce is displaying a recipe on the produce table and surrounding it with the called-for ingredients. “It’s an easy way to inspire customers who don’t know how to use a certain item, or give them a quick dinner plan with all the ingredients at arms reach. It’s a great way to cross-promote grocery and produce items,” Carrice says. “I am currently working on a display to help move some fresh turmeric. The recipe is for Fire Cider, an herbal tonic that can be made at home. It typically includes garlic, ginger, turmeric, horseradish, apple cider vinegar and herbs.”
Last winter, Carrice put a plan in place to help the produce department sell some of its winter vegetables. “One simple trick I have learned is to cut open an item that is beautiful on the inside, but not so beautiful on the outside,” she says. “I like to do this with watermelon radish, purple daikon radish and chiogga beets to reveal their bright interiors.”
It’s thinking like this that has led to the store’s success. One look at the Yelp reviews and it’s easy to feel the love customers have for the store and those who work there.
“I think customers continue to come back for our produce because we have consistently high-quality fruits and vegetables available from local and organic vendors,” Carrice says.
Friedberg credits Carrice with doing a remarkable job of keeping the store full and inviting. “She takes great care of the produce and minimizes waste and manages several different vendors to make sure we are getting the most variety, the highest quality product and the best price,” she says.
Also In The Market
Outside of the produce section, the store has a wide selection of pantry staples and go-to ingredients. Each Peach features basics like pastas, grains, lentils, broth and stocks. Its selection of condiments — olive oils, vinegars, mustards, fresh-ground nut butters, jams, honey, bread and crackers — are a perfect accent to any meal. “Sourcing locally and seasonally is important too, so we’ve teamed up with producers in Washington, D.C., for select products, and generally stock products our customers request,” says Friedberg.
Each Peach’s bakery stocks some of the best bread made in Washington, D.C. Fresh fish is sourced twice a week, and the selection changes weekly. Milk, eggs and yogurt are sourced from sustainable farms in Pennsylvania, and its cheese case has a mix of local and American artisanal cheese, as well as imported cheese.
The kitchen, led by Mikey Thibodeau, produces fresh and seasonal prepared foods, including salads, soups, dips and weekly dinner entrees; sandwiches are made to order at the deli counter.
The Road To Success
Although still relatively new, Each Peach has grown dramatically within its tiny space. “We are always finding new products and fitting them in where we can,” says Friedberg. “Our philosophy is to offer a highly curated group of high-quality products and friendly customer service. We have a balance of convenience items and high-end products, and want this to be a place where people can truly do their daily shopping.”
Customers cite the store’s customer service, DIY culinary spirit and fun shopping experience as reasons to shop there. “It makes grocery shopping less of a chore when you can have your selection curated for you and be among friendly, helpful and knowledgeable staff while you are doing it,” Friedberg says.
3068 Mount Pleasant St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20009
P: (202) 525–1725
Hours: Mon – Fri 10 am to 9 pm;
Sat – Sun 8 am to 8 pm