Shop local and support these homegrown businesses that showcase DC’s creative community.
Small businesses across the country have had an especially tough year. DC's vibrant local community of entrepreneurs and creatives have pivoted from once-popular in-person experiences to online ordering and curbside pickups. We can't say enough about our homegrown businesses and hope you'll fall in love with them, just like all the locals have, no matter where you are. In addition to offering a safe way of shopping, each of these vendors are members of Made in DC, a local program meant to support and promote local DC businesses that design, make, produce and/or assemble products within the city. You can also check out Think Local First to further support DC's local businesses.
Shop Made in DC
Shop Made in DC operates brick-and-mortar retail stores in Dupont Circle, Georgetown, The Wharf and Canopy Embassy Row, exclusively featuring products from Made in DC businesses. Everything you see in the store is – you guessed it – crafted right here in Washington, DC from local artisans and makers. The Dupont Circle boutique also features a cafe managed by Neighborhood Restaurant Group, where each item on the menu is made in the District. Online shopping is available for national shipping, local delivery and curbside pick-up.
Frère Branchiaux Candle Co.
The brotherly trio of Collin, Ryan and Austin are responsible for Frère Branchiaux Candle Co., a local candle retailer. The candles are hand-poured in small batches, hand-packaged and curated with care in the Frères Branchiaux warehouse in Washington, DC. The brothers have also added accessories such as room sprays, diffusers, bath salts, candle snuffers, and wick cutters. When you purchase products from Frère Branchiaux (and you can at Shop Made in DC or online), you will also be contributing to a good cause: 10% of their proceeds go to homeless shelters nationwide.
Ice Cream Jubilee
Ice Cream Jubilee is a delightful purveyor with locations in Navy Yard, Logan Circle/U Street and Ballston Quarter Market. Try locally made ice creams in creatively delicious flavors that rotate every season, so have an eye on the menu before you head in for a scoop (or two, or three, or four …). Ice Cream Jubilee ships nationwide, so you can enjoy your favorite DC ice cream right on your own couch.
3 Stars Brewing Company
Founded by longtime friends Dave Coleman and Mike McGarvey, 3 Stars Brewing Company brings handcrafted artisanal ales to a DC beer community that continues to grow. Take a look at its offerings, and take advantage of its community-supported beer program for pick-up and local delivery.
Using DC’s international vibe as inspiration, District Doughnut prepares distinctive and inventive doughnut flavors that are sure to make your taste buds tingle. Eating just one of their many doughnut creations (which are often timely or seasonal) is next to impossible. Scoop up a dozen online and call it a day – that’s how DC folks do it, anyway. Available for pick-up and delivery in local delivery.
District of Clothing
Founded by Dionna Dorsey in 2014, District of Clothing aims to inspire with its distinct brand of shirts, sweatshirts and hats. Each piece features simple but powerful design, often displaying emboldening messages and outfitted for ideal comfort and style. You can purchase District of Clothing products at the Shop Made In DC store, and online for nationwide shipping.
Little Wild Things City Farm
This urban farm located near Union Market produces certified naturally grown microgreens, salad greens, edible flowers and more. Little Wild Things' products are used at numerous DC restaurants (including Espita Mezcaleria) and sold by numerous DC vendors (including the Dupont Circle Farmer’s Market). You can also purchase the produce from this first-generation farm online.
Part of the Bloomingdale neighborhood, music community hub 7DrumCity offers lessons on drums, bass, guitar, voice, piano and keyboards. During the pandemic, the incubator has pivoted to offering virtual classes ($39 for a 30-minute intro lesson, $59 for a 45-minute intro lesson or $79 for an 60-minute intro lesson). Whether you want to gift some lessons to a DC local or you're hoping to learn the fundamentals yourself, 7DC is there to help. The music outfit also supports its star students and the local scene at The Pocket, its on-site venue, which now hosts live and virtual performances. Follow 'em on Instagram to keep up with new sounds, bands and livestreams.
DC Brau Brewing Company
This DC-based brewery helped invigorate the craft beer craze in the District, becoming the first brewery in more than 60 years to sport a product that is available in local stores and on tap outside of its own place of production. In addition to the tasting room and outdoor beer garden, the brewery offers delivery service within the District Wednesday to Sunday, and curbside pickup during select hours from Thursday to Sunday.
Gordy's Pickle Jar
Thai basil jalapeños. Sweet pepper relish. Bloody Mary mix. Cherry pepper spread. Gordy’s Pickle Jar produces ingredients that add heaps of flavor to any meal or snack. Every jar is made in their production kitchen in DC with seasonal, organic and local resources. Their products are sold nationwide, with a great lineup of vendors in the District. You can also order online.
If you’re looking for coffee from a local institution and not that chain that everyone and their mother frequents, Compass Coffee is an ideal choice. With several locations in the District, Compass is dedicated to making simple and tasty coffee, from its espressos to its signature blends, all sourced with the freshest ingredients. Want to brew at home? You can purchase Compass blends online. Founded by two former Marines, the company is a DC success story written through an essential morning beverage.
Did you know that DC has a chocolate factory? Well, you do now. Harper Macaw, located on Bladensburg Road, is a factory and cafe, and its products are featured all over the District. If you can't get enough of their treats while you are here, you can order directly online. The company, founded by a Brazilian chocolate maker and a U.S. Marines veteran, uses cacao to make its chocolate, all part of an effort to assist in tropical reforestation. Not only is the chocolate delicious, but its production helps with a great cause, too.
Mason Dixie Biscuit Co.
Southern fried comfort food, especially in biscuit form, is the number one priority of Mason Dixie Biscuit Co., a local sensation that features its products at more than 2,000 grocery stores nationwide and online with shipping nationwide. Find fresh-fast restaurant in the Shaw neighborhood. Using ingredients free of preservatives and hormones, it offers up fried chicken sandwiches, breakfast sandwiches, salads and sides like cheddar grits, mac and cheese and hash browns.
Whether you’re in DC or back home, you’re always going to have stuff with you. Scout Bags is here to help with that. The local company creates bags and accessories with five things in mind: pattern (updated seasonally), function, durability, affordability and fun. Track down a store in the area or order online. Either way, you’ll be purchasing something cool from an innovative DC company.
iconsDC should be your go-to for the ultimate commemoration of a trip to the nation’s capital. Visit its website to find themed mementos and gifts, all that reflect the historical import of Washington, DC. The collectibles can match all kinds of decor, styles and audiences. iconsDC also offers curated gift boxes that are perfect for a special occasion.
When you order from UrbanStems, a delivery service that originated in DC, you can expect beautifully designed bouquets outfitted with colors that pop via sustainably sourced flowers. Each order arrives with gorgeous packaging and a personalized note. The company has collaborated with leading designers to create cutting-edge arrangements, including Lewis Miller and Vogue’s Alexandra Michler.
Local ingredients and a whole lot of passion go into Bullfrog Bagels, a DC sensation that turns breakfast or lunch into a flavor explosion. Bullfrog’s bagels are hand-rolled in small batches, boiled and baked in a traditional style. Top your bagel off with smoked salmon or seasoned corned beef or cured and smoked pastrami or … we could keep going, just know that options are plentiful and delicious. Several locations are open for pickup and delivery.
Artisan creations from Whisked! can be found all over the District, including farmers' markets, grocery stores and restaurants. Savor any of the handmade pies, cookies and quiches featuring classic recipes and seasonal ingredients that will have you thinking they came right out of mom’s oven at home. The DC-based bakery sells its products online, and ships nationwide, so make use. We highly recommend their sea salt chocolate chess pie for special occasions.
Captain Cookie and the Milkman
Captain Cookie and the Milkman serves a very special purpose in the nation’s capital: delivering fresh-baked cookies and made-to-order ice cream sandwiches. The mobile bakery and dairy bar has developed a loyal following in the District, and for good reason. Orders can be placed online or by phone. Captain Cookie also has stores in Foggy Bottom and Brookland, so you can stop in for a delicious baked treat to-go.
She Loves Me
She Loves Me Shop Interior
She Loves Me is a small-but-mighty flower shop in the Petworth neighborhood offering custom flower arrangements and a boutique of botanical-based products. Visit the shop online to view their assortment of flowers, plants, vases and other fun goodies. Deliveries can be made within seven miles of the district. You can also learn how to create the perfect arrangements and wreaths with in-person and virtual workshops.
The Capital Candy Jar
If you've got a severe sweet tooth, The Capital Candy Jar, which got its start at the Union Kitchen food incubator, literally has it all. Achingly delicious chocolate truffles, gooey homemade peanut butter cups, chocolate-covered Oreos and pretzels, gummies, cheese and caramel popcorn and so much more. Get your fill online, give a gift fit for any season or find it around various marketplaces and shops in town.
Candles from Local DC Shop Handmade Habitat
Handmade Habitat aims to create products for slow, mindful living wherever you are. All natural soy wax candles and beauty products are handmade in small batches in Washington, DC. Everything is crafted with special care to be good for you and the planet. Workshops are currently not available, but the studio is open on Thursdays and Fridays from 4–7 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10 a.m.–4 p.m. You can also shop online, where nationwide shipping is available.