For many family-owned businesses, the idea of expansion is a daunting and risky proposition. But that hasn't slowed down Bill Fuchs, the owner of Wagshal's Delicatessen and Market in Northwest D.C.
Last month, his family opened a second Wagshal's location in Wesley Heights, at the site of the former Balducci's Market near American University.
"A grocery is something that's been lacking in this community for so long," said Fuchs. "People were really needing someone they could go to to get a loaf of bread, or milk, or just lunch meats, or things like that that they wouldn't have to get in the car, run down or go half a mile or a mile away. This is a lot more convenient for them."
The new store combines the traditional market and delicatessen in one location. Fuchs based the new store's layout on the intimate environment of markets he visited in Spain.
"We used to visit the markets there in Barcelona and Madrid, and what struck us about it was that the freeness in which people used to move about, and buy things in a very personal manner," said Fuchs.
The original Wagshal's, based in the nearby Spring Valley neighborhood since 1925, will also continue to operate. But while Wagshal's new location will offer the same products, Fuchs decided to take a new direction in redesigning the store for its new community.
"I didn't feel it was right for us to duplicate the market and the delicatessen. They really are one-of-a-kind. And you start getting too close to something like that, people might be comparing," said Fuchs. "I wanted something so drastically different, that you can say. 'I like them both,' for different reasons."
The new Wagshal's began operating in a "soft" launch on May 13, and the store will begin its full operating hours on July 1.
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