To say Capital Teas? founders, Manelle and Peter Martino, know tea might be a bit of an understatement. Fifth-generation tea merchant Manelle?s great-great-grandfather, Francis Van Reyk, was a Dutch tea planter who immigrated in the 1870s to present-day Sri Lanka, where he planted and managed the Diyagama Tea Estate, from which the Martinos now source their Great Grandfather?s tea. Manelle?s family has been in the tea trade ever since, a tradition she has carried to her own specialty tea business, which has boutique locations throughout the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland area. Additionally, Peter has become a popular speaker at World Tea Expos, where he frequently educates and inspires the tea world.
In addition to tea from Sri Lanka, Capital Teas carries more than 200 loose teas and herbal infusions from 18 countries including India, China, Japan, Malawi, and Kenya. A sniffing wall dispenses wafts of black, oolong, and green teas, and knowledgeable employees drift around the store?s tasting stations to explain each flavor?s nuances.
Capital Teas also pairs customers with accompaniments such as teapots, infusers, treats, and artisanal honey. In-store patrons may sample free tea samples?which are brewed fresh daily?while online purchasers receive a free sample with every order.
To call The Body Shop a mere skin and body care store is to miss half of what makes it special. Late founder Dame Anita Roddick was a pioneer for ethical business practices; upon opening her first store in Brighton, England, in 1976, she developed company values such as "Defend Human Rights" and "Protect The Planet." She somehow balanced principles and profit, partnering in global campaigns with UNICEF, Greenpeace, Amnesty International, and the United Nations, all while ultimately expanding her brand into 2,500 locations in over 60 international markets. After her death in 2007, then-British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said, ?She campaigned for green issues for many years before it became fashionable to do so and inspired millions to the cause by bringing sustainable products to a mass market. . . . She was an inspiration.?
Indeed, the Body Shop exhibits an eco-friendliness and social consciousness that's hard to come by in a company of its size. Its products have been fair-trade since 1987, and its Against Animal Testing movement led to an EU-wide ban of animal testing of cosmetics. The products are made from ingredients harvested from around the world: shea butter from Ghana goes into body scrubs and butters, and Indian artisans craft wooden massagers and tote bags that are screenprinted by hand. But all that isn't to say the company's production practices overshadow its final products. Skincare treatments such as the brand?s iconic body butters, facial products, and gift collections often appear in Allure, Marie Claire, Lucky, Seventeen and other national publications.
Owner Kim Brittenburg custom-designs her cupcakes and cakes based on each client’s individual preferences, and is capable of bringing even wild Walter Cronkite–themed dessert dreams to life. Choose from cake flavors including carrot cake, red velvet, oreo cookie, cranberry, lemon poppy, german chocolate, and pistachio, or request an option you don’t see listed. Kim's delectable cupcakes are usually accompanied with themed wrappers. All desserts are baked the night before pickup and are never frozen, unlike cakes ordered from bakeries located inside of Superman’s Fortress of Solitude. If you’re trying to reduce your fat intake, Kim's cakes use apple sauce instead of oil, making them more moist and healthy, though equally full of love. Click here for menu items and pricing.
In the studio of Allen Stoneware Gallery, nine pottery wheels stand still, each waiting for a student to throw his or her first project. When pupils pour in, these wheels spin into action. Hands get messy, brows furrow, and vases spin into their intended shapes. After a trip to the kiln and a quick rub to free any accidentally-trapped genies, the dishes are ready to be taken home.
This is just one type of class offered at the Gallery, where artist Vickie Allen-Shea draws upon 38 years of art-making and art-teaching experience to make the community a little more vibrant. In addition to throwing and sculpting lessons, as well as casual BYOB workshops, her studio serves as a boutique. Shoppers can take home one-of-a-kind dishes and figures, or commission a custom-designed piece made to match their vision.
Beneath the bright arrow that pivots around Tack's small sign, the quaint facade protects the home of a host of well-loved sandwiches, housemade sides, and famous Cream Smoothie sodas. Daily specials include hot dog Tuesdays and dollar cheeseburgers—which have one-dollar bills for lettuce—all day Saturday. These specials join a lineup of hot sandwiches and even a kids menu.
Inspired by her Jewish family heritage, Susan Herlands opened My Mother's Delicacies Inc. in 1988 to share her grandmother's respected rugelach recipe and other traditional treats that are certified kosher dairy. Shoppers can peruse an assortment of the coveted, hand-rolled rugelach ($14.99/lb.), a crescent- or square-shaped pastry crafted using a buttery, flaky, cream-cheese-infused crust and speckled with cinnamon, sugar, or nuts. A pound of Hungarian hand-rolled kipfel cookies ($14.99) bubbles over with raspberry, walnut, or apricot fillings, and a small tin of black and white cookies ($21.95) dazzles dessert lovers with a duochromatic treat as decadent as snacking on a 1920s film star. The shop sells pastries individually and by the pound as well as platters and gift towers sizeable enough for parties or a high tea with longtime frenemy Betty Crocker.