Slow Food DC Snail of Approval Award Spotlight: P&C Market

Across the street from the west side of Lincoln Park in Capitol Hill, you’ll find one of the winners of our Snail of Approval Awards: P&C Market.

P&C is the perfect place to nip in and grab a coffee and a sandwich, a bit of cheese, a bottle of wine and maybe even something new to brighten your culinary world: Iberico ham, artisanal chocolate or something called jowciale.  Jowciale is similar to guanciale, an Italian bacon made from hog jowl.  These pork cheeks hail from a family farm in Virginia, Edwards Farms.  They’ve been dry-cured and smoked for almost 24 hours.  Slice it very thin, advises Chase Alan Moore, the “C” in P&C Market, and the smoked pork will just melt into your dish.

Pablo Espitia and Chase Alan Moore opened P&C in December of 2008.  After years of traveling, they wanted to open a market similar to the ones you’ll find in most European cities – a market that sells the best of the best that the grocer has found to bring to his customers.  Espitia and Moore took their time finding the products they wanted to sell.  It took almost two years to cultivate the relationships with the regional food producers that now stock the shelves of P&C.

Take the now famous Polyface Farms in Swoope, Virginia.  Espitia and Moore toured Polyface, and spoke at length to the farm’s owner, Joel Salatin, about their vision for the Capitol Hill market.  Since then, P&C has become the only retailer in the district for Polyface meats.  Another favorite producer is Trickling Springs Creamery.  Moore says he felt strongly about stocking their products, and lobbied hard to sell their milk, butter and ice cream.  They also met with Central Coffee Roasters and developed P&C’s own blend of coffee beans.  And the list goes on – a family run honey business, peanuts from Virginia, a chocolatier out of Brooklyn and a gluten free cookie maker.  Ask Moore about any of the goods on his shelves, and he will happily speak at length about the people behind the product.

There are also a number of unique imported products, like Albert Menes spices, Mariage Frères teas and Pastificio dei Campi pasta, a line of dried pasta Moore says rivals any fresh pasta on the market.

In the next year, Moore says he would like to increase the presence of the store’s website to bring the products they love to a national audience.  But that doesn’t mean that P&C isn’t grounded in the local community.  They’ve also put down strong roots in the Capitol Hill neighborhood.  The store has sponsored a little league team and a bluegrass concert at Eastern Market.  Moore says he wants to be like the community businesses he grew up with – a real presence in the lives of the neighborhood residents.

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