Washington D.C. Local Food Brands You Must Try
We’re going to introduce you to some amazing foods brands, based right out of Dafero’s home city, Washington D.C. From savory to sweet, we’ve got you covered! We interviewed 3 local food brands to get an inside look at their products and how they got started as a company. If you are local to D.C. you have got to try out these local brands, and if not we’ll tell you where else you can find them!
8 Myles Mac N Cheese
We had the chance to talk with Myles Powell, the Founder of 8 Myles, to share what customers love about their Mac N Cheese brand and how he started the company. 8 Myles is a black-owned business that you can find right in Washington D.C. Myles started his brand as a BBQ sauce company in 2015 and then transitioned into making comfort food in 2018. 8 Myles Mac N Cheese is made with no harmful additives and all real ingredients. Customers enjoy their mac because it is not only delicious but also convenient, as it is 100% microwavable. Customers also love that it tastes homemade and emulates freshly baked mac straight out of the oven.
We asked Myles how he got 8 Myles started and he said “I grew up in a family of foodies and entrepreneurs. Food was not something we ate to solely sustain our existence. Meals were experiences. Ones that brought the family together. As I grew older and began to explore the kitchen from a culinary standpoint and in 2013, I took part in a Food Competition series called America’s Best Cook on the Food Network. This experience catapulted me to starting 8 Myles shortly after.”
We also asked Myles what his social mission is with 8 Myles. He said, “I realize that growing up, I was extremely blessed and fortunate to have a supportive family and community. They provided me all of the resources I needed to succeed. I also realize there are a plethora of children and young adults in the African American community who are not as fortunate. They may not have role models in their life or a supportive cast that can guide them to a potential path of success through entrepreneurship. My mission is to become that role model and mentor young men and women within the African American community.” He also shared with us some advice if you’re wanting to start your own brand, “Know your customers and know your competition. It’s not a sprint...but it is a race so be careful not to tread water. Move with a purpose.”
So if you’re a DCFoodie and looking for convenient comfort food, check out 8 Myles! You can find their products in Whole Foods, Kings, Baduccis, Yes! Organic, Glens Garden Market, Eddies, and many more! Also, keep an eye out for their Mac N Cheese bites that are arriving in August! Follow 8 Myles on Instagram @8mylesllc or find them on Facebook at 8 Myles LLC.
PICTURES FOR 8 MYLES
Women-owned business, Swapples, creates plant-based toaster waffles made from real food ingredients. Started in 2015, out of Washington D.C., Swapples is making the only toaster waffles on the market made from produce and real-food ingredients. They start with whole yuca root (a.k.a. cassava) and add in fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, and seeds to create a toaster waffle that is allergen-friendly, paleo, vegan, and gluten-free.
We talked with Swapples Founder, Rebecca Peress, about her experience starting Swapples and where customers can find Swapples products. Rebecca said, “I started Swapples out of necessity. I was on a restricted diet for health reasons, and couldn’t find any breakfast foods to eat, so I invented my own. It wasn’t until friends of friends and co-workers requested to purchase some from me that I thought about starting a business.” Started from just making them for herself, Rebecca turned her tasty breakfast food into a local Washington D.C. company that sells their products in over 400 retail locations! Swapples can be found on their website, where they can be shipped to the 48 contiguous states. Their products can also be found at retail stores across the Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, and Midwest - check their store locator for more information!
We also asked Rebecca if she has any advice to share with others wanting to start their own brand, and about the best advice she has ever received. For anyone wanting to start their own brand, Rebecca says, “Take care of yourself! It’s tempting to sacrifice sleep, a healthy diet, exercise, and social engagements in favor of ‘getting sh** done’, but doing so can take a serious toll on your overall health. Create a routine with good habits, and revolve your work around it. You can’t properly take care of your business if you aren’t taking care of yourself.” Speaking of advice, Rebecca also shared with us the best advice she has ever received. She said “Comparison is the thief of joy” - Teddy Roosevelt said this, and I can’t remember who, but someone reminded me of it right when I started my business. It’s a reminder that our successes can feel so joyful, until we compare them against someone else’s successes, and they suddenly feel inadequate. It’s all too easy to fall victim to this as a startup brand, and this saying has helped me to remind myself to admire my successes for what they are, irrespective of what others are doing around me, and has kept me happy with the work that I do.”
If you’re on the market for some amazing waffles, be sure to check out Swapples! Their waffles are gluten-free, paleo, allergen-free, and vegan! You can purchase their waffles at various retail stores and on their website. Be sure to follow Swapples Instagram @Swapples and on Facebook and Twitter @SwapFoods.
Have you been a delicious and nutritious treat that you can take on-the-go? Check out the Rounds that 2Betties have! This woman-owned business creates Rounds that come in six delicious flavors that are naturally gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, and contain no refined sugars. Based out of Baltimore, Maryland, 2Betties is making delicious healthy mini donuts that customers are loving. If you ask a customer what they love about 2Betties they’ll share with you that they love the ability to enjoy an indulgent snack that looks like a mini donut, that is better for you and delicious!
We talked to 2Betties Co-Founder, Bridget Greaney, about how she got 2Betties started and what her inspiration for starting her business was. Bridget said, “2Betties is Co-founded by myself and my Mom, Nancy. I initially started making healthier snacks while away at college, fed up with how much sugar was in the snack bars and energy bars I was eating to keep myself fueled between classes, practice, and work. However, after sharing with friends, family, and acquaintances, and frequently getting asked for the recipe, I thought perhaps I had a product that would be worth experimenting with as something to build a brand around. Having little business experience, I asked my Mom, who has years of business experience, what she thought and if she’d be my partner. A shared vision for a world in which all consumers have equal access to nutritious snacks also tastes great. We believe it is as important to offer healthier alternatives to unhealthy snack options to support and educate consumers on the health risks of consuming too much sugar and other unhealthy ingredients.”
Bridget also shared with us the best advice she has ever received when it comes to creating your own business. Bridget shared with us that, “The best advice I ever received was to be persistent and patient. It’s hard to balance both simultaneously, especially since we live in a world of instant gratification. However, the majority of businesses are not overnight success stories. There are ups and downs, and it takes time to build a business, not just sell a product. One practice I believe in, which helps me keep perspective, is celebrating little victories. Otherwise, it can feel overwhelming and discouraging if you’re only focused on the end goal.” Full of inspiring advice we also asked if she had any advice to share with other’s that are hoping to start their own business. Bridget said, “I think it's essential to have a product that solves a problem, and if you have that and conviction, then go for it! I also encourage you to reach out to other founders or people in the CPG food and beverage space to learn more about their journey, the challenges they faced, and any advice they might have. Lastly, I think it's critical to take your product to the streets and get real authentic feedback from people who might one day be your customers. I stood outside a large chain grocery store in the M.D. suburbs with my Mom multiple times before we launched handing out samples and having those that tried them to fill out a questionnaire. From that experience, I was able to perfect the product's direction and gain confidence that what I was baking had a place in the marketplace.”
You can find 2Betties delicious Rounds on their website! If you are local to the Washington D.C. or Baltimore area you can also find 2Betties products in local grocery stores and markets. Use their store locator to find out where you can purchase their nutritious Rounds! When checking out online use discount code DAFERO for 15% off your order! Don’t forget to follow 2Betties on Instagram and Twitter @2Betties_ and on Facebook @2Bettiess.