Wagshal's :: A Family of Fine Foods Since 1925
In operation for more than 80 years, Wagshal's is Washington, DC's premier delicatessen and gourmet market. We provide our customers with the finest quality food and service available, from preparing sandwiches, to catering elegant events.
"We Take Pride in purchasing the finest ingredients from LOCAL farmers, some of whom our relationships go back more than 22 years."
Steeped in Washington tradition, Wagshal's has proudly fed over four generations of Washingtonian's including presidents, senators, lawyers, lobbyists, supreme court judges, columnists, and mostly its loyal local neighborhood clientele. Presidents from Harry S. Truman, Nixon and Ford have eaten at Wagshal's thus, for many years earning Wagshal's its nickname, "The President's Deli".
Through the years many food trends have come and gone and certainly times have changed, but one constant stays the same -- Wagshal's remains Washington's premiere source for a wide range of fresh and prepared specialty foods and by the way, the best damn brisket sandwich within 100 miles south of the Mason-Dixon line!
What Makes Us Different
We are a unique operation with unique products providing high quality raw ingredients for sale in our market and in turn use those same ingredients for our prepared foods. Start to finish Wagshal's provides continual quality control and outstanding customer service. We dry-age our prime meats in-house allowing the meats to cure in the old world tradition.
Once seasoned and ready, our highly skilled butchers, who have massive patron followings, hand cut every piece. In addition to our dry-aged meats we also carry a wide variety of unique cuts. Where else today can you find bone-in filets? We are also an importer of some of the most exclusive products from around the world such as the famous Spanish meat, Fermín Ibérico de Bellota.
Our focus on the needs and concerns of our customers has always stemmed from the deep appreciation we have for them. It is because of them that we are allowed to fulfill our passion for food.
As a family-run business we also feel a kindred connection to Wagshal's founder. We made a promise to Mr. Wagshal more than two decades ago, upon the sale of his delicatessen to us, that we would keep it true to its roots and we have kept our word. Wagshal's remains today a step back in time and a step up in quality, a reputation we treasure. Wagshal's is highly regarded in the food industry, a well-established source for local media in need of food-related information and a regular destination for local chefs, embassy chefs and culinary icons.
In our kitchen, our in-house bakery provides the freshest products daily for our sandwiches and desert selections (our neighbors rejoice in the aromas wafting from our kitchen eve1y morning). We offer a taste of yesterday with homemade Whoopie Pies and Twinkies as well as today's hip food trend indulgences such as bacon topped glazed donuts.
In our retail operations we carry an incredible selection of craft beers, boutique wines, freshly cut flowers, domestic and European artisanal cheeses in addition to homemade prepared meals and more. We take pride in purchasing the finest ingredients from local farmers, some of whom our relationships go back more than 22 years. We feel good about serving these products to our customers because we know where they come from.
Wagshal's At A Glance
ESTABLISHED IN 1925
Washington's premiere butcher and gourmet market serving the DC Area for 87 years offering top quality prepared meals, prime meats, seafood and produce, artisanal specialty foods, daily made breads & desserts, craft beer & boutique wines, frozen take-and-heat meals and full service catering.
We carry only prime cuts and meats processed as Kosher from selected farms in the Virginia-Pennsylvania region. We butcher our meat ourselves and are known for carrying hard-to-find products and exotic meats and game such as antelope and elk.
We partner with our local seafood purveyors and have aligned ourselves with Chesapeake Bay local sustainable fisheries and oyster beds. Wagshal's has "the finest, freshest seafood," according to Washingtonian Magazine.
Produce for Wagshal's is selected from local farmers. We look for the best and freshest to display in our cases. We support local agriculture and as the season change so does our daily produce selections.
SAUCES AND CONDIMENTS
In-house condiments are one of our many specialties to accompany our sandwiches and other items, from homemade tarter sauce, chimichurri, chipotle remoulade to cocktail sauce.
At Wagshal's, you'll find fresh eggs from the Shenandoah Valley and fresh milk in old fashioned returnable glass bottles from locally owned Farm Fresh Creamery.
WINES & SPIRITS
Our wines are carefully selected to offer a variety of tastes for every palate. We take pride in bringing to our customers boutique wines and a full range of spirits. Special note: Mr. Wagshal was the first person in line upon prohibition ending to get a District of Columbia liquor license. Showing up with a blank check, he asked the clerk, '' how much do I make this out for?" Wagshal's now holds the oldest liquor license in the District of Columbia.
Baked daily in our ovens, our shelves are stocked full with a wide variety of breads and rolls made from the freshest, finest ingredients.
CAKES & PASTRIES
Made from scratch daily our cakes and pastries include fresh fruit pies, holiday and seasonal specialty items such as Bûche de Noël, mince meat pies, gingerbread houses, plum cakes, croquembouche, hamentashens, and New Orleans style beignets as well as old time favorites such as homemade Whoopie Pies and Twinkies.
Wagshal's has the special distinction of being the first retail operation to sell raw Fermin Ibérico de Bellota pork in the U.S. Fermin Ibérico de Bellota raw pork comes from the legendary purebred heritage Ibérico pig which feeds on acorns - known as "bellota" - that infuse the pork with a buttery, nutty flavor. During its stewardship, Fermin Ibérico de Bellota raw and cured products have won the 2011 National Restaurant Association Product Innovation Award and a 2011 NAFST sofi TM Gold Award.
Wagshal's is family owned and operated. Owner/President Bill Fuchs works with his sons Executive Vice President, Aaron Fuchs, and Vice President of Operations, Brian Fuchs, who were promoted after overseeing Wagshal's Market and Wagshal’s Delicatessen respectively. Bill's sister, Silvia Alexander, is the manager of the catering division, Spring Valley Catering.
CUSTOMER SERVICE AND CULINARY EXPERTISE
Our highest priority is to provide our customers with an exceptional shopping experience and culinary expertise in everything from how to stock a bar to how to split a lobster.
PART OF THE COMMUNITY
From charitable support to special events just for fun, Wagshal's is proud to be a good citizen. Charitable works include the Children's Hospital Care for Kids card program, support of DC Schools, DC Central Kitchen, Bright Beginnings Child Development Center, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Lions Camp Merrick for Special Needs, and many other local charities and schools.
Wagshal's Historical Timeline
Sam Wagshal and his 13-year old son, Ben, opened Wagshal's Delicatessen at 9th and G Streets, NW, a thriving area of Washington, DC.
Wagshal's moved to the thriving Adams Morgan area. Growth was spawned by society's favorite caterer, Avignon-Freres, several embassies and elegant apartment buildings. This second location increased Wagshal's catering and business contacts.
"The D.C. Suburbs" were developing. Within a few miles of Wisconsin and Massachusetts Avenues, Washington National Cathedral, Sears and Roebuck & Co. Giant Food, People's Drug Stores, Kresge's, and Sibley Hospital attracted traffic and new home development.
Wagshal's joined DGS Market and Esso gas station in a small strip retail center, Spring Valley Shopping Center, on Massachusetts Avenue, just blocks west of American University. Architect Gordon Mac Neil added Julius Garfinckel's department store across the street in 1942. Soon, the Apex Theatre, a hardware store and a children's store joined the center. Sam Wagshal used his 1620 square foot space to carry only the finest foods. "I will not carry any staples," Wagshal told Telefood Magazine. With embassies opening on nearby Massachusetts Avenue and growing townships and communities, Wagshal's quickly became well known for its corned beef, pâté, chopped liver, 30foot tall pickle barrel, Brie and brioche. Describing good delicatessens, Elliot Wilensky in When Brooklyn Was the World: 1920-1957, wrote a phrase key to Wagshal's success, "Deli owners really know how to get your juices flowing. They touched both your stomach and your heart. Sam and Ben Wagshal, joined by Ben's new wife, Lillian, and were often praised by The Washington Post.
Wagshal goes to the Supreme Court - Bakery Sales Drivers Local Union No. 33 v. Wagshal. The Supreme Court rules in Wagshal's Favor.
A big birthday party was held for Vice President Richard Nixon in the National Press Club. Ben and Lillian were asked to cater it. Nixon said, "... this is the first big party to be given for me since I came to Washington."
Wagshal son, Marc put an ad in The Washington Post inviting all readers to come to Wagshal's Delicatessen to celebrate Ben Wagshal's 50th birthday with free cake and champagne. "The store was so full all day long, "said Lillian Wagshal, "you couldn't believe it. If they weren't Wagshal's customers before, they certainly were then."
Spring Valley Shopping Center was designated as a District of Columbia Historic Site.
The Fuchs and Socha families purchased Wagshal's delicatessen from Ben and Lillian Wagshal. Today it remains a family run business owned by Bill Fuchs. Since then, Wagshal's dedication to quality and service continues to be recognized by feature stories in The Washington Post and "Best of the Best" ratings in Washingtonian magazine.
Wagshal's introduces its Frozen Heat & Eat Spring Valley® Homemade Meals.
Wagshal's expands to offer its quality sourced raw products three doors down from the Delicatessen in an old world market setting. Washingtonian magazine named Wagshal's "the best butcher shop in the metropolitan area with the finest freshest seafood." It is known for it's prime meats, seafood, produce, and flowers.
To handle it's expanding business, Wagshal's created Wagshal's Catering and Bakery Kitchen behind the Delicatessen and Market which is now creating enticing original pastries and cakes.
NBC-4 TV awarded Wagshal's the contract to run their employee cafeteria. Wagshal's continues to provide this service today.
Wagshal's holiday on-line ordering system is put into place. Wagshal's opens it's Imports division.
Wagshal's Imports Division wins industry's most coveted honors -- the NASFT sofi™ Gold Award and National Restaurant AssociationMost Innovative Product Award. Wagshal's Market featured in the Summer Fancy Food Show Magazine. Wagshal's opens it's School Lunch Program.
Washington legends who have been Wagshal's customers include Presidents George Herbert Walker Bush, Gerald Ford, Richard Nixon, and Dwight D. Eisenhower; Supreme Court Justices Wiley Rutledge, William O. Douglas, William Brennan, Felix Frankfurter, and Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill; as well as, Nancy Reagan, Alice Roosevelt, and Katherine Anne Porter. Over the years, well-known customers also include Supreme Chief Justice John Roberts, Attorney General Robert Mueller, and former Secretary of State James Baker; Senators Sam Nunn, Christopher Bond, John Danforth, Doro Bush, and many national and local media.