Our Community's Response to COVID-19

Union Kitchen is a food and beverage business accelerator in DC. We build CPG brands through our manufacturing infrastructure which includes a commercial kitchen, retail stores, and distribution. Since starting in 2012, we’ve worked with over 650 food businesses, including DC favorites Compass Coffee, Snacklins, Eat Pizza, Swapples, and Caribe.  Our food business community has sold hundreds of millions of dollars of food, helping drive our local economy.

We are obsessed with building food businesses - food businesses that own manufacturing, are adaptable, and are resilient.  When we build successful brands, we create jobs, develop wealth in our local economy, and celebrate our culture, diversity, and vibrancy through a medium that anyone can understand - food.  

As our community continues to go through changes, we are incredibly proud of how our member businesses have responded and risen to recent challenges. As manufacturers, our brands are able to innovate and respond quickly to what consumers want. We’re seeing examples over and over of how our member businesses are pivoting to fill consumer needs. 

  1. Compass Coffee, a local coffee chain, repurposed their bottling line to produce hand sanitizer. 

  2. Clark’s Cubes, a tea and coffee cube company, is manufacturing reusable face masks for adults and kids. 

  3. Swizzler, a food truck operation, launched three flavors of frozen french fries in stores. 

  4. Poppys, a bagel bites company, has shifted to bread production and is now supplying our stores and other member businesses with incredible bread for food service and retail sales.

  5. Walt’s Waffle Buns, a food service waffle brand, is offering take home waffle and pancake mix in multiple flavors.

  6. Afirma, a water bottle company, added a larger format to meet demand for water.

  7. Mulan Dumplings, a popular food truck usually stationed at the DC zoo, is launching three flavors of frozen dumplings in stores.

At Union Kitchen, we are more focused than ever on supporting and growing food businesses. Over the last two months:

  1. We’ve purchased more than $1,000,000 worth of packaged products from our member businesses, in part to keep our local economy vibrant.  They have sold millions of dollars beyond our own direct purchasing.

  2. Launched 35 new locally-made items, and expanded our network of retail partners to include Giant

  3. In our production facility, we’ve added new food safety initiatives to ensure the highest standards of operations are met.  Consumers need to know their food is safe and we have doubled down on food and health safety.

  4. All Union Kitchen retail locations remain open to service customers with essential items and Member products. 

  5. We launched Gift Boxes with locally-made products for companies switching to work from home

  6. We partnered with Rinse, the leading provider of pickup and delivery of dry cleaning and laundry, to create the Stay-at-Home Snack Pack for people in the DC area and Local’d Essentials to get essential items, locally made food products, and groceries delivered in two hours or less in Washington, DC.

  7. We partnered with OurStreets to provide real-time inventory information on essential items for consumers through the OurStreets app.