What it’s like to run a grocery store during an insurrectionist riot

Dennis Lee
·2 min read
inside glen's garden market
inside glen's garden market


Glen’s Garden Market, during pre-pandemic times

Danielle Vogel is a former bipartisan policy advisor in Washington D.C. who turned grocery store owner when she opened Glen’s Garden Market in the Dupont Circle neighborhood in 2013. When Vogel caught wind of January 6's historic D.C. insurrection, she raced to her store—and Winsight Grocery Business interviewed her about her experience.

According to Winsight Grocery Business, Vogel initially decided to close the shop at 5:45 p.m. to comply with the curfew (her employees live all within a short walking distance of the store), until she had to change plans.

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Vogel said: “The original [plan] we made was that we would honor the curfew by closing at 5:45 p.m.; the curfew started at 6 p.m., so that gave everyone enough time to get home. The staff felt that they were uncomfortable being out after dark, so we quickly amended our plan to close instead at 4:30 on [Jan. 6]. Part of the reason why we really wanted to make that happen was because there were rumors that the Proud Boys were staying at a hotel in Adams Morgan, and three of the four people working that night live in that neighborhood.” Yikes.

Fortunately, the community is checking in. “But as has been the case since the beginning of COVID, the community has been utterly wonderful. We’re definitely asked if we’re OK; we’re definitely asked how they can help. They’ve come through to support us in ways we might never have imagined before this.”

2021 also brings a little bit of optimism. “What gives me hope is Mayor Bowser has put us second on line for the vaccine, so my squad is going to get their shots in February. Never ever did we think that our job working in a grocery store was going to save our life, but here we are. That is the most spectacular development I could have imagined after the last nine months.”

There’s a lot more in this interview, much of it business related, which is something that I feel like a lot of people don’t quite have a grasp of yet. While grocery stores are still functional, they aren’t economically shielded by their essential business status. Do yourself a favor and check out the interview here. Who knew the beginning of 2021 would bring riots and insurrection, too.