Sometimes when you get too focused on the influx of large national chains into Georgetown, it’s easy to overlook how much Georgetown has served as a successful business incubator over the years.
The most obvious recent example is, of course, Georgetown Cupcake. Started in a small shop on Potomac St. in 2008, the company is now an indestructible national force. But it’s not the only business to make a splash after getting its first foothold in Georgetown.
Sweet Green was founded by some young Georgetown grads just a few months before and located in an old Little Tavern just two blocks west. Unlike the publicity-seeking Georgetown Cupcake, Sweet Green has quietly grown to 20 locations from here to Boston.
Dolcezza is another Georgetown-born success story. They still make quarts and quarts of the region’s best gelato in the basement of their Wisconsin Ave. location. (The production will soon shift to the ultra-hip Union Market, at which point, sadly, they possibly might close the Georgetown location.)
But the success stories are not limited just to food. Living Social got its start in Georgetown (o.k., the jury is still out on whether that will ultimately count as a “success story”). And the men’s haberdasher Hue and Crye was started here.
There is a tradition in Georgetown of stores starting out here and making it bigger. Clyde’s, of course, started here. Britches of Georgetown once had scores of stores nationwide before going bankrupt in 2002. And going back further, the Connecticut Copperthite Pie Co. was started by a Georgetown family and once produced 50,000 pies a day in their Georgetown factory.
Want to learn more about Georgetown’s role as a business incubator? Come to the Powerhouse (3255 Grace St.) tonight at 7:00 to hear a panel on entrepreneurialism in Georgetown, including Omar Popal, whose family is behind the fantastic Cafe Bonaparte and Malmaison restaurants.