Local Female Food Entrepreneurs Showcased
By April 7, 2022 0 186•
The inspiration in the air at Foxtrot was nothing short of contagious at the Celebrating Female Food Entrepreneurs event Friday, March 18. Foxtrot, a boutique corner-store at 1267 Wisconsin Avenue NW, partnered with Cherry Bombe, founded by legendary entrepreneur Kerry Diamond, to lead a panel discussion with local food entrepreneurs.
The women on the panel included Daniela Moreira, executive chef and part owner of Call Your Mother Deli, Ganelle Drayton owner of Sweet Dames Bakeshop, Dolcezza founder Violeta Edelman, and Foxtrot vice president of merchandising, Ashley Alden. Each of these remarkable women had her own unique path to the food and beverage industry and shared stories with an audience of hopeful entrepreneurs, supportive friends and family, and local community members.
Moreira got her start in the food industry working in a pizza parlor kitchen; quite fitting given that she’s executive chef and part owner of Timber Pizza Co. and the renowned pink Georgetown staple, Call Your Mother Deli. “I did not know I was going to be an entrepreneur,” Moreira told the audience. Moreira and her husband, Andrew Dana started Timber Pizza Co. in 2016 and their brand has been rapidly growing ever since. She shared that the beginning of an entrepreneurial venture can be the hardest part, especially when trying to convince investors to believe in a brand that doesn’t yet exist. Moreira encourages other entrepreneurs not to wait for the illusion of “the perfect moment” and to just go for it.
Be sure to look for the Maple Salt and Pepper bagel coming to Call Your Mother this season. For more on Daniela Moreira and Call Your Mother Deli, see our earlier story here.
Drayton moved into the entrepreneurial space after finding herself dissatisfied in her lucrative sports marketing career. “Every day was like Groundhog Day,” she said with a smile, and knew there was more to life. Drayton went on to found Sweet Dames in 2011, specializing in indulgent macaroons and her famous Cocomallow sandwiches. Drayton has hopes to open a storefront in the future, but for now her treats can be purchased online at Sweetdames.com or at Foxtrot. Drayton’s advice to young entrepreneurs is to be content with not having all the answers. She let the audience in on a secret: “None of us knows what we’re doing all the time,” she said, and like Moreira, encouraged the leap of faith.
Buenos Aires native, Violeta Edelman, is the co-founder, along with her husband Robb, of Dolcezza, a gelato and coffee shop that opened its first location in Georgetown in 2004. Similar to Drayton, Edelman was unhappy in her day job, and knew her passions were elsewhere. She’s put sustainability at the forefront of her business with locally sourced ingredients, and a commitment to creating a high-quality product while remaining environmentally friendly. Edelman encourages consumer consciousness and says, “it’s important to understand where your food comes from and who owns the businesses you’re buying from.”
Be on the lookout for new Dolcezza flavors that can be found exclusively at Foxtrot.
Alden launched into the startup world with Foxtrot in 2018, and is now the Vice President of Merchandising for the quickly growing market that opened its first D.C. location in Georgetown in 2021. She briefed the audience on the fast-paced lifestyle of a startup and the exciting “wins” she’s gotten to be a part of as Foxtrot expands its locations and shelf space for more diversified and sustainable brands. Alden pledges to increase the number of female-owned businesses represented at Foxtrot in the coming years.
According to Diamond, “venture capital funding is at an all-time high, yet female-founded businesses make up only 2 percent of VC funded organizations.” Consider supporting these local female-owned small businesses by visiting their storefronts or purchasing their products at a local Foxtrot.