Photo cred. Laura Hayes

Laura Hayes

If you’re looking for a way to celebrate the Chinese New Year STOP! because Union Kitchen knows exactly how you are going to celebrate the New Year. You are going to go eat dumplings from People’s Bao. Besides the fact that dumplings are traditional fare on the Lunar New Year (the little doughy goodies resemble ingots and bring wealth in the new year), dumplings  are among the most widespread culinary phenomena, for the obvious reason that they are incredible.

And where do you find the best of these incredible delights? At People’s Bao, recently named one of the best places to get dumplings in DC by Thrillist. Rightly so considering how delicious these dumplings are.


The Kid and The Kale

Business School to Baby Food

Kid and the Kale Team Photos: The Kid and the Kale Family -- Katie, Wayne, and Melissa

The Kid and the Kale Family — Katie, Wayne, and Melissa

The Kid and the Kale is launching in Relay Foods this month! We’ve been busy in the kitchen, Union Kitchen that is, and now we’re ready to share our super fresh and super nutritious baby and toddler foods with your family.

But how did we get here? What happened before all the taste testing, farm exploring, nutritional research, packaging trials, and brand design? We think it’s a pretty interesting story, and we hope you do to.

Our MBA professors said we were special from the beginning. I’m not sure they meant that in a good way though. We were a close-knit group, and we challenged everything. Isn’t that what business school is about after all—thinking outside of the box, thinking strategically, asking the tough questions?

We’ve become a family through all the class projects, study abroad programs, vacations, weddings, and yes, babies. And probably not surprising, food has been central to every occasion. Stories begin with, “Do you remember those first chocolate chip cookies at Katie’s home” or “NOTHING tops that wild boar bolognaise in Sienna”. We remember events by the food we shared.

In 2012, Katie introduced little Thomas to our family, and our conversations grew to include the tastes and textures of baby food. Katie wanted Thomas to have fresh and healthy meals, with no preservatives or unnecessary ingredients, and food that was full of flavor. Nothing was available in stores, and she began making all of Thomas’ food. The recipes have grown with Thomas—from purees to thicker textures to fresh patties.

Cafe Avranches Photo: Brandon, Molly, Melissa, Nick, Mark, Ingrid, Katie, and Wayne take a sweet break in Avranches after visiting Mont Saint Michel in Normany, France in 2011.
Brandon, Molly, Melissa, Nick, Mark, Ingrid, Katie, and Wayne in Avranches, France

Along the way, our business school brains kicked in, and we realized we could meet a real need in our community for fresh and healthy baby and toddler food. And The Kid and the Kale was born.

The Kid and the Kale is a fresh-made baby and toddler food company. We start with the freshest organic fruits, vegetables, and proteins. We mix in a hint of the finest herbs and spices to create a new taste experience and develop your child’s palate. Then we leave the recipe alone—no added preservatives, fats, fillers, or additives of any kind. Just delicious and nutritious flavor combinations that grow with your child.

We hope you’ll invite The Kid and the Kale to your family’s table. And please come visit us over at for more information and stories.
Here’s to a fresh start!

Katie, Wayne, and Melissa

Let Them Eat Kale, Washington Post, 1 October 2012 –

Nerds In NoMa

noma nerds

Don your snazziest pocket protector for Nerds in NoMa next Tuesday, when the city’s top tech experts explore the Growing DC Tech Scene. Nerds in NoMa is a free speaker series this winter exploring everything from local brewing to urban beekeeping. The foremost visionaries of technology startups – David Zipper, Managing Director of 1776, Doug Guthrie, George Washington Professor and Government Consultant, and Max Wessel, VP Business Innovation & Incubation at SAP – will delve into the nuts and bolts of this sought-after DC industry on Tuesday, January 28, from 6-8 PM. The District aspires to attract larger tech companies, more revolutionary startups, and to become a high-tech magnet.

Spread the word! Your happy hour crew will not want to miss the delicious sandwiches available for purchase from Paul’s Steaks or the wine and beer selection at the bar. Click here to RSVP for this free event. Doors open at 6 PM; speakers start at 6:30 PM at 1200 First Street, NE.

Can’t make the event on Tuesday? Assemble a brigade of your most curious friends for another event at the Lobby Project before the series goes into hibernation in 30 days. The Lobby Project is an initiative funded by a grant from the DC Office of Planning and the NoMa BID to enliven a previously underutilized office lobby with evening programming, such as art openings and ‘Nerds in NoMa’ speaker talks, as well as a pop-up café weekday mornings. Stop by the Lobby Project at 1200 First Street, NE and enjoy inspiring art curated by Washington Project for the Arts, listen to brainiacs on DC-centric topics, savor a great cup of coffee, capitalize on free wifi, and connect with friends and coworkers.

Special thank you to Principal Financial Group, Polinger Shannon & Luchs and NoMa design firm Ayers Saint Gross who donated their services and resources to create a beautiful and inviting space at the corner of First and M Streets, NE. Other partners include the DC Office of Planning, Uncle Chip’s Cookies, Interface, Washington Project for the Arts, and Union Kitchen.

About NoMa

NoMa is a vibrant, growing neighborhood north of Union Station and the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. In the last seven years, private developers have invested more than $5 billion in the 35-block area within the NoMa BID boundary, and have plans to develop more than 20 million square feet of additional office, residential, hotel, and retail space. With the capital investment of $50 million from the District government, NoMa will soon have great new parks and public spaces as well. NoMa is now home to 40,000 daytime workers, with 4.5 million SF of office space leased in the last 5 years. More than 3,900 apartments have been recently completed or are under construction. NoMa has 13 modes of transportation, including two Red Line Metro stops, and the best biking facilities in D.C., with the East Coast’s only Bikestation, the 8-mile Metropolitan Branch Trail, and access to six Capital Bikeshare stations. NoMa is the most connected neighborhood in Washington, D.C. The NoMa BID organizes more than 50 free award-winning community events each year, connecting more than 20,000 friends and neighbors. For more information about NoMa, visit and sign up for our bimonthly newsletter. Follow us on Twitter @NoMaBID and like us on Facebook.


Despite the false Spring that DC seems to have fallen into, we are still in the midst of Winter. Cold season is still going in full swing. For this reason , Gauri of Union Kitchen Caters gave some culinary advice to Fox 5 News recently on how to make a Chicken Noodle Soup that will warm your heart and soul. Plus it’s also National Soup Month and what better way to celebrate than by cooking soup.


Thunder Pig Confectionery

Thunder Pig ConfectioneryWhat We Do
Thunder Pig Confectionery specializes in artisan confections and baked goods made daily from scratch.  We handcraft our sweet treats using the finest seasonal and local ingredients.

Thunder Pig offers seasonal brownies, bars, candies, cakes and jam.  We’d love to share them all with you!

Why We Went Into Food —  I moved to Washington, DC nine years ago to pursue my dreams of working on Capitol Hill.  After six years working for the government, I realized that my true love was baking.  I quit my fancy corporate job and attended professional pastry school at L’Academie de Cuisine.

What Have We Learned —  I’ve learned a lot in my first year!  I’ve had lessons in presentation of product and, most importantly, the management of employees.

What We Love — I love being in DC and owning a business in this wonderful city.   The community is so supportive of local food producers and I feel very lucky to operate here.  

What Is Next For Us —  Thunder Pig continues to supply local retailers with delicious products.  In 2014, we will expand our jam line and focus on getting our tasty, local jams out to the masses.

 Thunder Pig Confectionery was named the winner of the 2013 Think Local First DC StartUp Kitchen Competition.

Thunder Pig has also been featured in the Washington Business Journal:

And the Washington Post:

And in Scoutmob: