Arlington, VA

D.C.-based Union Kitchen — a retail shop and restaurant that acts as an accelerator for food and beverage businesses — opened yesterday in Ballston at 4102 Wilson Blvd, next to Compass Coffee.

Inside the business looks like a sleek, modern version of any other convenience store, but much of the food and beverages inside are from small local brands, albeit alongside larger brands like La Croix and M&Ms.

“Why carry big brands?” Union Kitchen said on its website. “We want to build D.C. manufacturing companies that are going to last. This means they need to be so good that they outcompete the national options. Customers need to want to pick up a bag of Snacklins over Doritos, not because it’s local, but because it’s delicious. We need to build products that people want.”

Other offerings at Union Kitchen include coffee, pizza, beer and hard seltzer.

Customers coming by the new store will receive a free Blind Dog chocolate chip cookie, according to the Union Kitchen Facebook page.

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