5 DC Food & Bev Businesses Lighting Up the Fourth
4th of July, to some, is like the mid-year Christmas. This summer holiday elicits almost as much celebrating, gathering, eating, and drinking as the December month. Small businesses are often at the hub of these community festivities and take creative approaches to providing the tools for fun on the 4th. Here are a few DC small businesses whose efforts are setting off fireworks:
Having recently opened its first brick-and-mortar location in DC, Mason Dixie Biscuit Co. has garnered the attention of locals yet again. This fan-favorite and nationally acclaimed biscuit company is one to watch, even if you can't make it to their DC drive-thru for some of their great food.
Gearing up for the holiday weekend, Mason Dixie has been plastering their social media with reminders of their hours and emojis to match. On top of that, their catering solutions, recent press, and tasty branding are creating a recipe for success on Fourth of July.
A sauce and lifestyle brand, 8Myles defines “hustle”. With the ever-present slogan, #EmbraceEveryMile, this small business delivers great quality sauces and rubs that provide a helpful reminder to enjoy every moment.
This startup shows a clear focus on events marketing and small business collaboration. The team has recently announced a new sauce developed with a local distillery and has hosted events (serving up wings doused in the signature sauces) at local bars, breweries, and markets. Growing a food-based business without a tangible location is difficult, but 8Myles is proving it’s possible!
Just two years old, this local gin, whiskey, and vodka distillery takes its name from the constitution - a great touch for the upcoming celebration of our country. Founded on passion and a commitment to quality, One Eight serves up unique, custom cocktails every weekend that highlight the hard work put into every bottle.
It’s hard not to love a place that changes the menu every week (and then makes a habit of going off-menu to meet customers’ unique preferences). One Eight’s commitment to personalization is combined with a social media strategy that shares drink recipes with followers. A combination of great service, intriguing video, and educational content spell success for this brand.
A self-proclaimed "epicenter of culinary creativity", Union Market is not so much a business itself as a home to several small businesses. Hosting a multitude of cuisines and small shops, this market is a known favorite to DC locals for finding the next up-and-coming businesses.
As a physical space, Union Market excels at encouraging customers to do their marketing for them. With iconic wall art that millennials will Instagram and monthly movie events, social media users are constantly sharing their experiences at Union Market. Fourth of July will be no different for this establishment: they're already marketing special menus and sharing enticing photos.
A rapidly growing business, Compass Coffee shops are spreading through DC. Anyone keeping up with this company's social media will see that they're opening new locations, starting a new collaboration, and distributing in new markets - all in an effort to serve up more and more great coffee.
Compass Coffee's marketing doesn't disappoint, especially when they offer free cold brew for an entire day. (Too late, the offer's over!) This weekend, they've started strong with a professional and patriotic shoot of the iconic "Real Good Coffee" catch phrase.
It's clear that DC small businesses have some great offerings. Whether you're local to DC or not, though, these small businesses have even more than just great food and drinks. They offer key lessons that small businesses nationwide can learn from:
- Get featured. Mason Dixie's positive press has helped boost this local takeoff into a national brand.
- Collaborate. Events and co-marketing can drive forward the success of a new brand. 8 Myles' exposure alongside other, credible brands helps consumers get to know the sauces and trust the message.
- Personalize. Surprising your customers (in a positive way) and catering to the exact preferences of your most loyal promoters will help your small business stand out.
- If you've got it, use it - physical space, that is. Union Market's iconic wall art and open space are irresistible for the social media generation. Your space should be clean and beautiful.
- Treat your customers, and leverage a theme. Compass Coffee's free cold brew and patriotic posts are shareable, making this a great company to model your marketing efforts off of.
So, entrepreneurs, enjoy your Fourth of July celebrations, but keep your eyes peeled for the lessons you can learn along the way!