- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 9, 2006

An Annapolis spud seller is setting up a second shop in the District this summer. Potato Valley Cafe, which specializes in oven-roasted baked potatoes topped with fillings such as curry dressing with pineapple and greens or Jamaican hot pepper sauce and cheddar, is planning to open a location in August in the Penn Quarter.

“We wanted a second location, and general business districts work well for us,” said owner Barbara Ripani.

Similar to baked potatoes, oven-roasted potatoes are crispy on the outside. She discovered the concept in Scandinavia and Americanized the potato by stuffing it with fillings grown in the Americas.

A potato with basic garlic butter and greens runs $3.95, while a potato topped with chile and lime sour cream, marinated grilled chicken and greens costs $6.70.

The shop, scheduled to open in 700 square feet at 614 E St. NW, has 18 other fillings, plus lettuce, vegetables and Danish roasted onions.

About 95 percent of the menu is potatoes, but Potato Valley Cafe also sells salads and sandwiches.

Ms. Ripani, whose 11-year-old Annapolis store is across the street from the Maryland State House, said she has formed close relationships with many of her regular patrons in the business crowd.

“We sort of get to know everybody in the area,” she said. “If someone doesn’t have their money with them that day, we tell them to bring it back another day because I know the people.”

Potato Valley Cafe, which is opening its first franchise location in Las Vegas later this summer, also is looking for franchise locations in Northern Virginia. The D.C. shop is not a franchise.

Food Lion prices down, spruces up

Food Lion has opened three new discount stores and upgraded several others in the Washington area.

Bottom Dollar Food, a new discount chain from Food Lion LLC, opened three stores in Fredericksburg, Va., last month. The stores, which feature “no-frills fixtures” and bag-your-own-grocery lines, feature lower prices than Food Lion-branded stores. The three new locations are former Food Lion stores.

The company also has spruced up 26 of its Food Lion stores in the area with remodeling jobs focused on the produce, meat, deli and bakery sections. The stores also feature an expanded wine section, redesigned aisles and new checkout lanes.

Retail & Hospitality appears Mondays. Contact Jen Haberkorn at 202/636-4836 or jhaberkorn@washingtontimes.com.

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