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Amanda McClements takes Salt & Sundry to the 14th Street Design District.

Amanda McClements

Potential investors said she wouldn’t see a return for three to five years. And others questioned the need for a boutique devoted to quirky and stylish entertaining. But years of writing about restaurants, food and entertaining—and scouring the Internet for products to feature on her blog—gave Amanda McClements the background to forge ahead, opening Salt & Sundry at Union Market in Northeast DC 18 months ago. Customers flock there for the likes of handmade table linens, specialty tonics and bitters, jadeite tableware and teak saltcellars. Salt & Sundry’s already in the black, with a second location opening this summer in the middle of the 14th Street Design District on S Street. McClements had her eye on the space from the beginning, but was lured to Union Market because of its startup vibe, and to be with her friends in the industry, including mixologist Gina Chersevani (Buffalo & Bergen), fromagère Carolyn Stromberg (Righteous Cheese), and Travis and Ryan Croxton (Rappahannock River Oysters). 

“Gina said, ‘What are you waiting for?’” McClements says. “When I first came up with this idea, I had tunnel vision for 14th Street. I knew the retail mix,” the Logan Circle resident says. “You have great furniture stores and the best restaurants, but you need the glue that brings together that passion for home design and the love of food. I want Salt & Sundry to be an exciting complement to what’s already there.” McClements is most proud to represent DC’s artisans and small-batch producers—think elderflower vinegar, barrel-aged maple syrup or cold-brew coffee concentrate, all locally made. “To finally see DC makers rise to the occasion and get high-quality products combined with great packaging is really fun to watch,” she says.

McClements’ Hots
Martinez cocktails, copper accents, indigo tie-dye, Monday dinner dates, Olde Salt oysters

McClements’ Nots
Dry clean only, egg whites, artificial sweetener, green-washing, “Have you dined with us before?”