After 10 years in business, DC-based ferment shop Number 1 Sons has closed, victim to one of the hardships for many small food producers: operation woes.
Number 1 Sons exclusively sold at farmers markets. Their seasonal ferments ranged from pickles, sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha and vinegar.
They were one of the early adopters of home delivery when the pandemic hit, investing in six refrigeration vans and making over 30,000 home deliveries in 2020 and 2021. In 2022, they returned to selling at farmers markets. But owners and siblings Yi Wah and Caitlin Roberts said in a statement that they can no longer operate in their current space.
“Since 2012, we’ve made pickled and fermented food and drink that we’ve brought to our neighbors at farmers’ markets across the Washington DC area,” they said. “In the spring of 2020, we transformed overnight from a farmers market pickle company into a pandemic grocery delivery business. Such a business transformation is only possible with incredible community or massive resources. Guess which one we had? Our customers trusted us.”
In a statement, Wah and Roberts said: “many businesses are facing rising costs and an increasingly challenging business environment – we recognize our fellow food businesses that are continuing to evolve, innovate, and grind it out. Local independent businesses are key fibers in the community tapestry.”
“We are thankful, and in awe, of our customers, crew, fellow market businesses, and partners (microbes too!) who have been a part of this salty little thing. It’s been a gift to do this with you.”
Read more (Washingtonian)