“Girls,” Susanne Brody would tell her three daughters, “you can be whatever you want after your federal clerkships.”
Vogel dutifully earned a law degree, clerked with the House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security and eventually served as the environmental counsel for Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) from December 2008 to March 2011, fighting to win support for a climate change bill. But when the bill died, a victim of classic Capitol Hill politics, Vogel had had it with trying to improve the environment via the sausagemaking process in Congress. She decided to heed the call of those who had gone before her.
Danielle Vogel was going to be a grocer.
Glen’s Garden Market, a 10,000-square-foot operation carved out of the old “Secret” Safeway north of Dupont Circle, is her vision. It’s not a conventional supermarket, nor even a store like Whole Foods or MOM’s Organic Market
. Glen’s is a concept that will mix Vogel’s past with the future, advancing the family’s history of supermarkets with the hope of helping us avoid a future full of environmental catastrophes. The store is Vogel’s attempt not only to promote sustainability and local products but also to wean Washingtonians off those goods from faraway lands that contribute to global warming.
Glen’s will officially open on Sunday, the day before Earth Day.
Vogel’s tools for accomplishing her mission are the same as those behind farmers markets: geography and artisan producers. With the exception of some staples (items such as olive oils, salts and other “forbidden fruit of the nonindigenous tree,” as Vogel dubs them), Glen’s Garden Market will sell products sourced only from the states of the Chesapeake watershed, from New York to Virginia.
What that means: At Glen’s, you won’t find pineapples from Costa Rica, farmed fish from Chile, wines from France, butter from Ireland or strawberries from California. Save for the “forbidden fruit,” every one of the 1,100-plus items on the shelves will come from regional producers, each personally selected by Vogel.
The store, she says, “is a logical extension of what I was doing” on Capitol Hill. “Everything we do is environmentally focused.”
If Glen’s Garden Market sounds like the product of an ambitious, highly educated adult from a Type-A family, well, Vogel is guilty as charged. She is the thin, wiry and slightly hyper daughter of Brody, an assistant federal defender in the Southern District of New York. Her late father, Glen Rosengarten, was the co-founder and chief executive of the Food Emporium, a mold-breaking grocery chain. Danielle, her mother says, spent her high school years in Greenwich, Conn., toting around the works of historian and activist Howard Zinn.