Startup Sandwich Service at Eastern Market
When studying abroad, most people pick up new hobbies and interests — maybe a favorite beer or a new found love of soccer. When Sarah Frimpong spent a semester in Amsterdam, she developed a taste for the broodje and is now turning that import into a D.C. staple with her sandwich concept Broodjes & Bier.
Dutch for roll and shorthand for sandwich, the broodje, as Frimpong describes it, differentiates itself from other between-two-slices-of-bread meal options for its freshness and quality. While an Amsterdam menu item, the broodje is not munchie fare. It is a hearty meal with first-rate ingredients from the bread down to the spread. And quality is the chief trait of the broodje experience that Broodjes & Bier seeks to recreate for Washingtonians.
“There are scant options for retailers when it comes to sourcing quality ready-to-eat sandwiches,” said Frimpong. “That’s mind boggling to our team. We put a lot of work into creating inventive sandwiches that will taste as fresh as if made to order.”
Frimpong’s broodje is made with bread that has been baked that day, newly sliced cheese and fresh meat and veggies. The sandwiches are then stocked at the Eastern Market cafe the Silver Spork and are available for purchase.
Broodje’s sandwiches feature a carefully selected stock of fancy sandwich ingredients. There is the classic made with 18-month-old guoda, tomato, cucumber, red onion, mayonnaise, dijon and arugula. Then there is the fan favorite, the Vondel Park with prosciutto, goat gouda, fig jam and balsamic reduction. For Thanksgiving, Broodje’s is rolling out the New Amsterdam.
“It’s a seasonal broodje,” she says. “Cranberry and walnut chicken salad on Portuguese cornbread. It literally is a bite of Thanksgiving — turkey, gravy and all.”
Frimpong’s idea of developing Broodjes started to crystalize while working at the Silver Spork. Her boss at the Spork gave her advice, encouragement and then eventually a market for her sandwiches, providing shelf space for the daily made delectables.
Capitalizing on this brick-and-mortar partnership, Frimpong with the help of some dedicated friends held a pop-up event last month at the Silver Spork offering what the name promises, sandwiches and beer, for a large and hungry crowd. With a bigger than expected turn out, she considers the event a success and has plans for new pop-up nights with possibly a sit down-like format.
Until then, Broodjes & Bier will continue to expand their brand through the indispensable startup essentials of social media, inventiveness and helpful friends.
Check out Broodjes & Bier’s Dutchtastic sandwiches at the Silver Spork. Soon to be available at District Flea.
Richard is a freelance writer who enjoys building a healthy appetite with long runs around the city. When not logging the miles, he can be spotted training the palate at brunches, happy hours and food trucks.