Foxtrot Market, an upscale convenience store and cafe, opened a new location in Georgetown on March 1, the company’s first in Washington, D.C.
The store, located at 1267 Wisconsin Ave. NW on the corner of N Street, is the 11th location for the Chicago-based chain and offers on-site shopping as well as delivery throughout the District in under an hour through its website and app. Occupying a space formerly held by furniture store Jonathan Adler, Foxtrot features a coffee bar, cafe and interior and outdoor seating and sells groceries, wines, craft beers and more.
The shop hopes to elevate the convenience store experience by creating an inviting space with a curated selection of food and drink and an emphasis on locally sourced products, according to CEO and co-founder Mike LaVitola.
“We have a pretty deep partnership with Vigilante Coffee, this amazing local roaster. If you go around the store, you’ll see some highly local brands across craft beer, in our pastries, in our breads, in our cookies,” LaVitola said in an interview with The Hoya. “That’s something that’s really important to us as well.”
Local sellers and woman-owned products are highlighted throughout the store. Foxtrot also recently announced its 2021 Up and Comers, a program that highlights products made by small businesses, according to Foxtrot’s website. Surprisingly Baked, a cookie company launched during the COVID-19 pandemic, is featured on the website as the Best of D.C. Up and Comer.
Georgetown was a natural choice for the new location because of its lively population, which will help Foxtrot to become an all-day community gathering space, according to LaVitola.
“I think we always knew that we had to launch with Georgetown first so that we could introduce ourselves to the most amount of people in D.C.,” LaVitola said. “We love the proximity to the university but then also all the local people who live close by. We thought we could create a really energetic atmosphere with that.”
The arrival of new establishments in Georgetown highlights the strength of the neighborhood’s small business economy, according to Lauren Boston, communications director for the Georgetown Business Improvement District.
“The past 12 months have been undoubtedly difficult for everyone, including our businesses, but we’re encouraged by all of the new life coming back to Georgetown,” Boston wrote in an email to The Hoya. “There are many new businesses opening — from retail hybrids hosting a series of local entrepreneurs, to established concepts like Foxtrot — and that’s a vote of confidence for this commercial district, and the future of Georgetown.”
Other establishments that have opened in Georgetown during the pandemic include Call Your Mother bagel deli on 35th and O Streets, which welcomed its first customers in July, and Levain Bakery, a popular New York City cookie chain, which moved into an M Street space in September.
Due to COVID-19 capacity limits, Foxtrot employees monitor the number of customers inside the store at once, often holding a line at the door to promote social distancing. Despite these restrictions, Foxtrot has seen a busy first week with roughly equal numbers of in-person and online orders, according to LaVitola.
Although the pandemic presents difficulties for new businesses, it has also given Foxtrot the opportunity to create new jobs in the Georgetown area as well as the opportunity to give back to a community still being affected by the coronavirus, LaVitola said.
“It’s certainly more challenging than it would otherwise be, but you know, it creates all these jobs, which is super great for everyone working, and I think the neighborhood’s responded really well,” LaVitola said.
All delivery fees from the storefront’s first two days of operations were donated to the Power of 10 Initiative, a nonprofit that hires out-of-work chefs to feed food-insecure D.C. residents, according to the Power of 10 Initiative’s website.
Foxtrot is set to open a second D.C. location in Mount Vernon Triangle on March 22 with other D.C. storefronts to follow, according to LaVitola.
“We have another two opening up in D.C. later this year and hopefully a bunch more next year, so we are really focused on staying in D.C. for quite a while. We’re excited to expand here,” LaVitola said.
Hoya Staff Writer Ella Kohler contributed reporting.