A dine-in ban in effect to quell the novel coronavirus has limited D.C. area restaurants to takeout and delivery, drastically reducing their sales. The drop in demand goes up the supply chain, hurting wholesalers that stock professional kitchens with meat, fish, and produce. While restaurants figure out how to adapt to the new normal, some purveyors are also pivoting by selling direct to consumers. Many people are wary of venturing into grocery stores and farmers markets, which means demand for home deliveries is at an all-time high.
Here are some distributors offering direct-to-consumer deals on everything from lobsters to coffee to foie gras:
- Profish: The seafood purveyor specializing in local and sustainable fish and crab sends trucks out from its Ivy City warehouse to restaurants all over town. Now the company, which also operates the Ivy City Smokehouse, market, and tavern, is offering direct sales. Orders by the pound and extend wholesale pricing to consumers. Pick up orders at one of 15 rotating “Meet The Truck” locations. About 15 local zip codes can also opt for direct home delivery for a $15 fee. Sign up here.
- D’artagnan: The high-end meat purveyor known for duck, caviar, foie gras, and poultry is a longtime favorite of Michelin-rated eateries and chefs like Daniel Boulud, Tom Colicchio, Bobby Flay, and Thomas Keller. It has a new service for next-day deliveries. Subscribe to receive a coupon code for $25 off your first order of $200. Ships next day.
- East Coast wholesale giant Baldor Specialty Foods now delivers produce and specialty foods direct to consumers in D.C., Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Potomac, and Takoma Park for a limited time only. Their website is stocked with thousands of items for at-home prep and consumption. Grocery staples like eggs, milk and bread join a laundry list of meats and poultry, pasta, fresh produce, and water. The brand, founded in 1946, already rolled out the temporary service in New York, Philadelphia, and Boston.
- Little Wild Things: The D.C. urban farm’s take on a CSA lets customers reserve a share of its harvest. Early bird pricing for summer salad boxes ($235 per share) includes eight weeks of greens from Wednesday, June 10, through Wednesday, July 29). Little Wild Things offers home delivery or pickup. Buying a share of summer salad shoots comes with a huge perk: a “lifelong” 5 percent discount.
- Fresh Impact Farm: Microgreens, tough-to-find herbs, and edible flowers from this sustainable indoor grower in Arlington are now for sale on its website. The farm delivers orders to Arlington, Alexandria, and D.C. on Tuesdays and drops off in Fairfax on Thursdays. On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, customers can pick up orders at its facility (5165 Lee Highway, Suite B). Orders must be placed by 8 p.m. the previous night.
- Moon Valley Farm: This organic Woodsboro, Maryland, farm — just north of Frederick — supplies essential D.C. restaurants like the Dabney, Maydan, and Tail Up Goat. It has a CSA program with drop-off sites around Maryland and D.C. and sells beans, grains, eggs, mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes, and herbs online. Customers can also pay to donate a tree to the farm or food for restaurant workers in need. Home delivery is available in the District, Bethesda, Frederick, and Baltimore.
- SIMPLi: Sarela Herrada, who led CAVA’s food and beverage division for five years, co-founded this wholesale company for Peruvian quinoa and Greek olive oil that works directly with producers to simplify supply chains for restaurants like &pizza, Little Beet, and B. Good. SIMPLi has partnered with JRINK and Salt & Sundry to sell patterned bags of white quinoa for around $10. Its website offers individual bags, 10-pound boxes ($45), and 25-pound sacks ($100).
- A new website called Pepper Pantry puts suppliers in position receive and fulfill delivery orders to consumers. Local vendors include: Delta Produce (produce, dry goods, dairy, and cleaning products, with a $100 minimum); Tasty Duck (farm fresh specialty duck meats and chicken served at top NYC restaurants like Eleven Madison Park, Tao, Buddakan, and Decoy); Downeast Coffee Roasters; and LaFaver Farm (premium quality burgers, franks, and ribs). Customers can typically expect orders to arrive by 7 p.m. on their selected delivery date.
- Choco Market: This app comes from a global company that aims to eliminate waste by linking suppliers to restaurants. Now it’s acting as a liaison for free, next-day deliveries on groceries such as vegetables, pasta, beans, and cleaning essentials ($100 minimum). Choco is pledging all of the profits from its market program to RAMW’s Worker Relief Fund. Lanham, Maryland, purveyor Delta Produce is a partner in D.C. Order here.
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