DC’s Food Access Grant to Encourage New Dining Options for City Residents

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David and Alicia Magby had been loyal customers of Tropical Smoothie for years before deciding to get into the business. Last week, they opened their third franchise in the Southeast with help from DC’s latest round of grants from the Food Access Fund.

David and Alesha Magby opened their third Tropical Smoothie Cafe location in southeast DC last week with the help of grants from the city’s Food Access Fund. (Courtesy of DC Government)

David and Alicia Magby had been loyal customers of Tropical Smoothie for years before deciding to get into the business. Last week, they opened their third franchise in the Southeast with the help of DC’s latest round of grants from the Food Access Fund.

“It allowed us to build the Tropical Smoothie Cafe and to hire from within the community,” Alicia said. “The more we grow, the more people we can bring from the community with us,” she added.

The program aims to close the gap in healthy food choices for 80,000 residents of Wards 7 and 8. A total of $6.6 million will be distributed to area restaurant and grocery store owners.



A total of $23 million will be allocated to the program in fiscal year 2023. The smoothie restaurant is the first to open in the program’s latest round of funding.

Other grant recipients include Atlas Brew Works, with a new restaurant in the Bridge neighborhood of Ward 8, La Cabana Restaurante, a full restaurant and bar in the Skyland neighborhood of Ward 7, and new arts and cultural entertainment in 25,000 square foot outdoor space of Sandlot Anacostia. venue.

“The Food Access Fund is a game-changer in how we bring new food options to more DC neighborhoods, and we’re thrilled to support eight local restaurants, bars and cafes as they open or expand neighborhoods. 7 and 8”, Mayor Muriel Bowser said in a press release last May.

“As we emerge from the pandemic, we want to make sure we don’t lose any of the characteristics that make DC truly special,” Deputy Mayor John Falcicchio added in a statement. “That means investing in small, local businesses that offer exciting and innovative ways to tackle inequitable access to quality food.”

As the couple prepare to open their fourth restaurant across from Morgan State University next month, they are excited to continue to see their neighborhood thrive.

“There are many things we do at all of our locations that impact the community. It was a good decision and we’re glad we did,” Alicia said.

Business owners interested in the program can learn more about the Food Access Fund website.

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