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PICTURES: Progress on long-awaited H Street Organic Market


Shelf stocking in progress!

Stocked shelves!

Bulk bins!

H Street Organic Market, on the site of the former Z-Mart dollar store on H street, is finally opening soon, owner George Ayele tells Elevation DC.

The long-anticipated market was first announced last year, when Hareg Messert, owner of Chez Hareg pastry shop and Ayele's relative, told Elevation DC that she planned to have "Chez Hareg Organic Market" open at 806 H Street NE by April.

Now with a name change (and, sorry Hareg fans, no pastries from her bakery just yet), Ayele says he'll be open by midmonth.

"We've started setting up the shelves," he says. "We are waiting on equipment, [but] if things go well, our predicted date is between the 12th and the 15th."

The store's concept remains the same: local food, organic eggs, local bread--some from the same vendors that serve the H Street farmer's market; now customers won't have to wait til Saturday to get their fix. Ayele says the store will also serve hot coffee, lattes, and so on. He tells Elevation DC that Messert's pastry operation has taken longer than he'd like to get going, and didn't want to confuse patrons by branding the store with pastries that wouldn't be sold there. Plus, he says, he wanted his own branding on the space.

The H Street corridor has changed remarkably, as far as grocery stores go, since the market was first announced. Giant opened at 300 H Street NE last year, and Walmart opened at First and H NW. Finally, confirming many rumors, Whole Foods signed a lease to open between 6th and 7th streets. The only "failed" restaurant deal in the area has been Yes! Organic Market pulling out of a deal to take over the former H Street Playhouse, which owner Gary Cha told Housing Complex's Aaron Wiener that it was because the structure was historic and too difficult to adapt. (The space is now a CrossFit gym.)

Read more articles by Rachel Kaufman.

Rachel is the managing editor of Elevation D.C. She also covers tech, business and science for publications nationwide. She lives in Brookland.
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