FSM News

Lois Gamerman Wins
Congratulations to Enterprising Women of the Year 2017 award winner Lois Gamerman, president and CEO of Soft Stuff Distributors. Soft Stuff is the premiere specialty foodservice distributor in the Mid-Atlantic. Gamerman and her team of highly talented industry professionals have grown Soft Stuff into the largest award-winning specialty foods distributor on the east coast, growing by more than 39 percent over the last four years. Gamerman is a five-time Done Deals Award Winner, a member of the WBENC Forum, the WPEO – DC 2016 Star, and the 2016 WPO “Heading to Harvard” winner. Gamerman is dedicated to mentoring young women and aspiring entrepreneurs. She is active in educational initiatives in her state and is the co-chair of the Parent Council at Goucher College.

Food and Fun from Around the World
Passport DC celebrates its 10th anniversary in May. The annual festival commemorating International Cultural Awareness Month in the District of Columbia runs from May 1 through 31, with a wide array of food and cultural activities presented at a record 75+ embassy open houses. On Saturday, May 6, countries that are not members of the European Union will open their doors during the “Around the World Embassy Tour.” The 28 members of the European Union will hold their open houses during “A Shortcut to Europe” the following Saturday, May 13. Steven Shulman, executive director of Cultural Tourism DC, the festival’s producing organization, said, “When embassies open their doors, visitors can expect to encounter the art, music, crafts, cuisine, geography, and the manufacturing prowess of the participating countries. The embassies want to express that their countries are attractive places to visit and do business, and in our tenth year, more countries than ever are participating.”

FoodPRO Receives UNIPRO Key Distributor Award
More congratulations! FoodPRO of Frederick, Maryland received the UniPro Foodservice 2016 Key Distributor Award at UniPro’s spring conference in New Orleans, La. UniPro CEO Bob Stewart presented the award at UniPro’s annual awards luncheon. The UniPro ‘Key Distributor Award’ recognizes UniPro member companies for their exceptional accomplishments and growth, for their dedicated participation in UniPro procurement, logistics, sales, and marketing programs, and for their strong commitment to the UniPro organization. For over 70 years, FoodPRO has been a wholesale restaurant supplier and broad line foodservice distributor of fresh cut steaks, fish, and produce, as well as non-perishable groceries and foodservice supplies to clientele throughout Maryland, Northern Virginia, West Virginia, DC, and Pennsylvania. It has been a member of UniPro Foodservice since 1961.

Founding Farmers Expands
Founding Farmers has announced its first restaurant outside the DC-Maryland-Virginia (DMV) region — slated to open this spring at the King of Prussia Town Center just outside Philadelphia, Pa. Founding Farmers King of Prussia will be designed as a two-level, 14,000 square-foot space, with just over 300 hundred seats. “I’m thrilled for the chance to reach guests in the King of Prussia area with our message — food and drinks that come from the heart of a farmer-owned collection of restaurants,” said owner Dan Simons. “Going to King of Prussia doesn’t feel far. We already buy loads of product and produce from Pennsylvania producers, and we can get to King of Prussia with an easy drive or train ride, so our current team will expand while still being very connected,“ Simons continued. In addition to Founding Farmers King of Prussia, work continues on the opening of Founding Farmers Reston, Va. and a new Farmers & Distillers concept, which will feature an innovative, in-house distillery.

The Black Olive Bar & Grill
The newest hot spot in Leesburg, the Black Olive Club, is now a private club with benefits. This 200-seat sports and action bar, with its soaring ceiling and impressive columns, sets the scene for Loudoun County residents and visitors — with newly renovated outdoor patios and fire pits, competitive pool, corn hole games, karaoke, and nightly music, either live or with a DJ. Shareable, small plates, along with a full dinner menu, are creatively presented and updated regularly. Located in the heart of Leesburg, in the North Building at The National Conference Center, the Club offers a variety of discounts for the local community, including discounts on food, wine, and events. There are no fees to become a member and no monthly spending requirements. To find out more, go to or call 703-724-6040.

Taqueria del Barrio
Taqueria del Barrio, an authentic Mexican taqueria, opened on March 30 in DC’s Petworth neighborhood. “After our experience in DC’s food scene with a food truck, catering, pop-ups, and more, we’re thrilled to finally open our first brick-and-mortar in Petworth,” said chef-owner Anna Bran-Leis. “Our vision for our restaurant is to become this neighborhood’s go-to taqueria and to truly create a sense of welcome for our new community.” Taqueria del Barrio seats 92 guests in a 2,200 square-foot space designed to evoke the taquerias of Mexico City. Featured in the new restaurant: a floor to ceiling mural of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a weathered steel bar, suspended rope lighting, and reclaimed wood under a large, bright skylight. Guests can also look forward to a 16-seat patio come summer 2017. Visit Taqueria del Barrio online at, and follow Taqueria del Barrio on Facebook at, on Twitter at @DelBarrioDC, and on Instagram at @delbarriodc. 202-723-0200.

Sloppy Mama’s
Barbecue fans rejoice! Sloppy Mama’s is now open at Union Market. Founded by Joe and Mandy Neuman, Sloppy Mama’s specializes in all things BBQ, including pork and brisket sandwiches, smoked meat platters, and traditional sides such as cole slaw, baked beans, potato salad, and hot sweet pickles. Joe Neuman, the history teacher-turned-pitmaster, launched the Sloppy Mama’s concept in August 2014 as a catering company and food truck. The new Union Market locale will feature favorites like St. Louis-style ribs, pulled pork, and corn bread. BBQ fans can also pick up a bottle of Neuman’s signature sauces: Kansas City (traditional tomato-based), Georgia Gold (mustard-based), and Happy Sprinkles Rub while visiting the market. Sloppy Mama’s is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11 am to 8 pm and will offer take-out options, as well as catering for larger events in and around the DC metro area.

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