Local Culinary Parents Who Turned Their Passions to Professions

Who doesn’t want to turn their passion into a profession? It’s what we all strive for throughout our lives. A number of DMV parents have turned their culinary dreams into profitable businesses. From ice cream to chorizos and cocktails to empanadas, these folks are busting onto the D.C. foodie scene and you need to know about them!  

Photo: Empanadelicious

Empanadas are one of the most well-liked and common dishes in all of Latin America. Simple yet mouthwatering, they are a fulfilling meal for everyone. Margarita and Andy Womack, are raising their three young boys while keeping up with super busy professional lives. Like many of us, they found themselves constantly racking their brains trying to come up with healthy yet tasty family meals that could fit in between business calls, soccer games and carpools! By merging Margarita’s Hispanic roots with Andy’s passion for modern American cuisine, Empanadelicious, modern empanadas for families on the go, was born! Empanadelicious empanadas can now be found at the Chevy Chase Supermarket (frozen and ready to cook) in Montgomery County and will soon be available at other markets around the area. You can also order empanadas online freshly made for you. As if empanadas weren’t enough, the Womacks will also cater your event from small family meals to large gatherings. 

Online: empanadelicious.com

Photo: Molly’s Bakeovers

Molly’s Bakeovers
Like many people across the globe, all four of Molly Hamilton’s kids have serious food allergies. Molly, a Potomac, Md. resident, has made it her mission to create a healthy, gluten-free, dairy-free, peanut-free, egg-free, soy-free yet YUMMY cookie, and boy has she succeeded! Bakeovers is about redefining cookies to make them appetizing and safe for people with food allergies. Bakeovers are made from pure ingredients such as honey or organic coconut nectar and are an excellent source of fiber. Molly spent years perfecting her recipes, and launched Molly’s Bakeovers in December 2015. Her treats are sold at Whole Foods stores nationwide or can be delivered if you order through her website. Flavors include chocolate chip, brownie crisp, and oatmeal raisin.

Online: bakeovers.com

Photo: Ayla Newhouse via flickr

Ice Cream Jubilee
Victoria Lai loves ice cream (don’t we all?!!). She loves it so much that she started experimenting with ice cream and creating fun flavors in her small NYC apartment kitchen eight years ago. She took a break from her corporate law career to pursue her newfound hobby and apprenticed at a pie shop in Brooklyn.  Her hobby quickly turned into a passion but would have to remain an evening and weekend pastime as Victoria accepted a presidential appointment at the Department of Homeland Security here in D.C. Despite her dedication to her federal job, Lai couldn’t free herself from the exhilaration that formulating ice cream brought her. She started Ice Cream Jubilee as home tasting parties for friends. Now, Victoria who is also a wife and mother, has launched a full-fledged thriving business! Ice Cream Jubilee, which uses all natural cream and milk from a local creamery, has two D.C. area locations.Victoria conceives flavors inspired by her international travels, delicious libations, and Texan upbringing.

Online: icecreamjubilee.com

Photo: Chorizo Cabal

Chorizo Cabal
Betty Guerrero, who runs Cabal Sausage Company, was born in Mexico and grew up in Northern, VA.  For the past eight years, she has familiarized herself with the Hispanic diaspora in the area and created a one of a kind chorizo for each groupHer authentic chorizos have become a delicacy in the DMV and, last year alone, she sold more than one million pounds of chorizo, which now come in fifteen different varieties. Papa John’s Pizza was so impressed with Betty’s EL Perron chorizo, that they’ve named their newest spicy yet delectable pizza, El PERRON. Betty’s chorizo is the first Latino topping to be used by any national pizza chain in the country.   

Online: chorizocabal.com

Photo: Element Shrub

Element Shrub
Charlie Berkinshaw started Element [Shrub] a few years ago when his wife was pregnant with their first child. She was disappointed in the slim selection of non-alcoholic drinks available. She had a hankering for beverages with a more sophisticated flavor, made with real ingredients and not a lot of sugar. At the time, Charlie was working with a group, in Cambridge, Ma., that foraged local fruit. They came up with the concept of shrubs, fruit preservation using vinegar and sugar, after harvesting a massive amount of crabapples. He added the shrub to some sparkling water and the rest, well, is history! The crabapple concoction led them to experiment with other amalgamations and they created a product that is genuinely one of a kindThe couple now has two kids and live in Arlington, Va. From blood orange saffron to honeydew jalapeno, there’s a shrub for everyone! You can use them for cocktails, mocktails and even cooking. 

Online: elementshrub.com

Have you tried any of these parent-run local food companies? Tell us in the comments below. 

-Guiomar Ochoa


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