“Our concern for the environment has always been paramount, and our talents and abilities to deliver on our vision are increasing as we grow,” says owner Dan Simons. “We are family-farmer-centric, people-centric, and these principles guide all of our decisions. Our menus emphasize food that is connected to people and the earth. Our sources are primarily family farms, and we make the vast majority of our food from scratch and in-house.”
“‘The most important way to manage your growth is to keep your communication channels open, all across your business. Sharing information and reinforcing the vision is important, but listening, truly listening, may be even more important. You need to keep a pulse on your staff, see through their eyes on specifics, and know what the general mood is,’ explains Simons.”
Founding Farmers DC named the most visited restaurant by Lyft users.
“Washington, D.C.’s most geotagged restaurant on Instagram is Founding Farmers, located just three blocks from the White House. Instagram: @FoundingFarmers”
Founding Farmers voted one of the best brunches in D.C. by Washingtonian readers.
“As with anything involving ethics, it’s easier to just not look and let the blame fall to someone else, but as a consumer, you have the choice to punish those firms that turn a blind eye to abuses,” said Simons. “Founding Farmers is based around the idea that sustainability is more than a goal, it’s a requirement.”
“We’re transparent about who we are and what we do. When we make a mistake, I want to know about it, take responsibility for it, and correct it. I acknowledge that with the wide range of difficult things our team tries to accomplish every day, and in our refusal to use chain-restaurant methodology to simplify and dumb things down, that we’ll fall short sometimes. I’m proud of our people who do the detailed, complex work that it takes to serve our guests every day.”
“The three Founding Farmers restaurants in and around Washington, D.C., also pride themselves on cross-utilization. “It’s rare when we have something that has a one-time use,” says managing partner Mary Carter. ‘It’s about making sure your menu has a lot of options for what you’re doing, and being as creative as you can.'”
“People said we were crazy — we’re on the backside of an office building, the entrance is strange, and two restaurants have failed there.”
“Deciding we were ready to expand was a combination of believing we had developed the managerial talent to still execute well, combined with the demand for reservations,” says Dan Simons, co-owner of Founding Farmers. “We had more demand than we had seats. There was a line out the door.” Once you’ve made that decision, though, the details matter.
“Farmers Restaurant Group really gets it,” said Open Table CEO Christa Quarles. “They’ve been dedicated to learning our systems and figuring out how best they can be used in conjunction with their smarts and their staff. They are making the software work for them to provide a better experience for all of their guests.”
“In some ways, Dan and his team have revolutionized the industry with their coaching and mentoring strategies. In conversation after conversation with his team, Dan reminds them to never look up at anyone, but instead, to look across the table, eye to eye, with the confidence that all people are equal.”
“Farming represents the backbone of America’s food machine. There are 3.2 million farmers in the United States, and this aging group has been getting a raw deal for some time. It’s all down to the way farmers do their business. But Founding Farmers is one startup looking to change that.”
“It’s often assumed that it’s not possible to maintain high-level sustainability practices while still remaining profitable, especially in the restaurant business. But Farmers Restaurant Group (FRG), which operates a handful of popular restaurants in and around the nation’s capital, is doing just that.”
“Interior designer Brooke Loewen of Grizform Design Architects points to the host stand at Founding Farmers Tysons. It’s a part of a restaurant that typically goes unnoticed, but there it depicts the bottom half of a horse, and its centaur-like effect makes it a desirable shot for customers: ‘Anytime a restaurant can get guests to interact with their brand—which interior design is a part of—and the guests post it, that’s the biggest endorsement.'”
“Poke finds its way onto this menu through a spicy ahi tuna poke salad, served with avocado, cabbage, onion, mint, basil, and peppers.”
“The modern American menu of this eco-chic eatery on the Georgetown waterfront has something for everyone (including a sushi bar!).”
“Best Restaurant in Potomac (Readers’ Pick)”
“The tiki and tropical cocktail selection at Farmers Fishers Bakers is very extensive. Order the Suffering Georgetowner (with botanist gin, high west, rendezvous rye, lime, ginger, bitters, and seltzer) and think about what the implications of its name are. Or if you want to keep the mood light try the Islay Swizzle or Bahama Mama. Cheers!”
Farmers Fishers Bakers voted runner-up for Best Alcoholic Punch by Washington City Paper.
Founding Farmers DC voted runner-up for Best Brunch by Washington City Paper.
Founding Farmers DC voted runner-up for Best Downtown Lunch by Washington City Paper.
Founding Farmers DC voted runner-up for Best Bloody Mary by Washington City Paper.
Readers chose Founding Farmers DC as a popular brunch spot in Washingtonian’s Best of Washington feature
“Before the tidal wave of the “farm-to-table” movement swept DC, there was Founding Farmers. The restaurant was committed to working directly with farmers before it was a buzz-generating line to put on a menu. In fact, American family farmers from across the country collectively own it.”
“If there’s one thing residents in the DMV know best, it’s how to brunch. So it’s no surprise several D.C.-area restaurants made OpenTable’s list of the Top 100 Brunch Restaurants in America.”
“We can’t make a list of top restaurants to visit while in DC attending Greenbuild without mentioning the obvious pick: Founding Farmers! Not only is this downtown restaurant LEED Gold, it also has some truly delicious food and drinks. Our pick: the grilled cheese and tomato soup!”
“You know what they say about little hot dogs? Little buns. You can choose big flavored mini franks sassed up with tomato chow-chow, blue cheese and bacon, or our favorite, chili with shredded cheddar.”
“Whether patrons flock to the locations on Pennsylvania Ave. or suburban streets in Maryland and Virginia, they know they will have to wait for a while to be seated; time is a price to pay for dining at of the most popular restaurants in the area. Not only is the food sustainable, but the spaces themselves are LEED certified, which ensures that the construction and décor of the restaurants have minimal ecological impact.”
“A stone’s throw from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, this restaurant draws tourists and deal makers to its well-regarded breakfasts and brunches.”
“‘At this point, we’ve just taken the ability for a consumer to be able to make a choice for them and their family,’ says Mary Carter, managing partner at D.C.’s Founding Farmers, a restaurant that espoused farm-to-table, long before it was a buzzword. ‘We’ve basically taken education away from people who want it. So now, consumers have no chance to make a choice, unless they absolutely have a relationship like we do with our vendors.’”
“Lobster mac & cheese at Founding Farmers: A masterful blend of Gouda, yellow cheddar, white cheddar, Gruyère, Grana Padano, and muenster, this hearty mac and cheese bowl from Founding Farmers is textured with breadcrumbs and topped off with an actual lobster tail.”
“Barman Jon Arroyo covers the classics, including a Dark and Stormy made the old fashioned way: Goslings black seal rum, ginger beer, and lime.”
“Sip on a coffee or espresso, try one of their cold-pressed juice blends, or even a breakfast cocktail while you’re devouring the best stuffed French toast or Farmhouse waffles you’ve ever had. How about some made-to-order beignets with raspberry coulis or chocolate?”
Founding Farmers is one of the picks for iconic college restaurants (Georgetown University)
“There is no mistaking who can go where at the Founding Farmers restaurant in Washington, D.C.; its restroom doors read Men, Women and the Rest of Us. “I realized that for some people this is a stressful topic,” he added, “and I thought: ‘Why don’t I make it clear? We need a label that says no label.’ “
“To keep compost and recyclables out of costly landfill garbage, the bins are color-coded and placed in strategic spots—for example, a bin for wine bottles sits by the doorway to the dining room. By contrast, there are no trash cans in sight.”
“Stacks of extra-fluffy buttermilk pancakes practically demand that you factor in nap time.”
“Talk about politically correct: This D.C. hot spot, just blocks from the White House, serves a breakfast that’s as eco-friendly as it is delicious. The chef coats free-range chicken in whole-wheat flour before frying it, then he pairs it with organic eggs, a waffle, and a creamy pepper gravy made from whole-wheat flour and antibiotic-free cream and butter.”
“There’s a singular taste to many cocktails here, because they feature rye, gin and pisco distilled especially for the restaurant. Beverage director Jon Arroyo and his team use the spirits to handcraft both classic and more unique drinks”
“From using recycled paper-composite countertops to using recycled paper menus with soy-based inks, Founding Farmers gets an A+ for all that they do to help Mother Earth.”
All eyes on Founding Farmers Tysons and the Diplomat Crepe Cake! “Stunning 17-layer cake is worthy of an Instagram before you take your first bite. Between each crepe is a generous slather of fluffy vanilla pastry cream. The towering wedge can be served plain or topped with strawberry-blueberry compote or hot fudge.”
Founding Farmers D.C. recognized as one of the best places to eat with the kids.
“The waffles at Founding Farmers are made from scratch everyday, and can be topped with either fresh strawberries and cream, maple cinnamon sugar, bananas foster, or fried chicken.”
“The group will open a Founding Farmers restaurant in the new King of Prussia Town Center, a 260,000-square-foot development from The JBG Cos. being built about 30 minutes outside of Philadelphia and within walking distance of the massive King of Prussia mall.”
“Venturing deeper into the space, one finds a barn-style bar with exposed rafters, a “sun tea room,” a carpeted main dining room (designed to feel like a living room) and “bedroom booths” that mimic the shape of four-poster beds with flowing drapery.”
“Profits go directly back to the producers, from the flourmill to the fruit orchard, making a meal here as much about feeding your soul as satisfying your appetite.”
“Somehow, Founding Farmers manages to keep the farm-to-table concept alive and kicking, even when that idea may feel passe to some. It’s expanded both north and south these days, but is staying true to its origin, serving delicious food using ingredients that come straight from the farm.”
Forbes recognizes all Founding Farmers restaurants for being named among the top 100 in OpenTable’s Best Brunch spots in America.
“Mary Carter, the managing partner of the Founding Farmers flagship Washington, D.C. location agrees that finding a capable partner is key. She says the four-unit group, which also has locations in Maryland and Virginia, and is owned by the more than 40,000 members of the North Dakota Farmers Union, pays as much attention to how its product is grown and harvested as it does the zip code it came from”
“At Washington, D.C. favorite Founding Farmers, start with a board of Devil-ish Eggs.”
Founding Farmers is recognized as a top dining destination in Downtown DC.
“At the new Founding Farmers in Tysons Corner, all of the furniture is custom-made. To complete the “modern farmhouse” look, Loewen worked with fabricators to build furniture that looked residential, but could endure thousands of diners a week.”
“Health and wellness are a priority at Founding Farmers, so it’s no surprise that the winter beverage menu (offered through the end of February) spotlights fresh-pressed juices. Beverage Director John Arroyo’s Winter Pie features cold-pressed apple juice, vodka, lemon, and cinnamon syrup, garnished with fruit.”
“Founding Farmers also placed in the site’s nationwide list of the top 25 restaurants for solo diners in 2015, based on the number of one-person reservations, user ratings and recommendations from the site’s restaurant experts.”