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Wonder: Behind-the-scenes at DC’s Union Market

On Friday night, I joined a meetup group to get a behind-the-scenes tour and tasting at Union Market. That area of northeast DC had been a bustling area of the city for a century before it fell into decay in the 1960s. About 10 years ago, just as I was leaving the city to go to grad school at UVA, this area started to be revitalized and Union Market is now a magnet for residents, visitors, and businesses alike.

The premise of Union Market is a food incubator, allowing enterprising people to launch a food-based business for a fraction of the price it usually costs to enter the market. These startups are varied and thriving—from brothers who own a knife sharpening business to bakeries to a 1950s-style soda shop to spice vendors to seafood to BBQ—Union Market is showcasing the very best of DC’s future food scene.

The aromas and visuals were stunning, though what really got me was the energy, the spirit of the place. Customers were smiling, laughing, and chatting. Business owners were happily cooking and serving up love on many plates and in many glasses. Union Market is a place rich in possibility, and that is a wonderful thing.

About Christa Avampato

The short of it: Writer. Health, education, and art advocate. Theater and film producer. Visual artist. Product geek. Proud alumnae of the University of Pennsylvania (BA) and the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia (MBA). Inspired by ancient wisdom & modern tech. Proliferator of goodness. Opener of doors. Friend to animals. Fan of creative work in all its wondrous forms. I use my business skills to create passion projects that build a better world. I’ve been called the happiest New Yorker, and I try hard to live up to that title every day. The long of it: My career has stretched across Capitol Hill, Broadway theatre, education, nonprofit fundraising, health and wellness, and Fortune 500 companies in retail, media, entertainment, technology, and financial services. I’ve been a product developer and product manager, theater manager, strategic consultant, marketer, voice over artist, , teacher, and fundraiser. I use my business and storytelling to support and sustain passion projects that build a better world. In every experience, I’ve used my sense of and respect for elegant design to develop meaningful products, services, programs, and events. While building a business career, I also built a strong portfolio as a journalist, novelist, freelance writer, interviewer, presenter, and public speaker. My writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The Huffington Post,,, Royal Media Partners publications, and The Motley Fool on a wide range of topics including business, technology, science, health, education, culture, and lifestyle. I have also been an invited speaker at SXSW, Teach for America, Avon headquarters, Games for Change, NYU, Columbia University, Hunter College, and the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. The first book in my young adult book series, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters, was acquired by a publisher and launched in November 2017. I’m currently working on the second book in the series. A recovering multi-tasker, I’m equally at home in front of my Mac, on my yoga mat, walking my rescue dog, Phineas, traveling with a purpose, or practicing the high-art of people watching. I also cut up small bits of paper and put them back together as a collage artist. My company: I’m bringing together all of my business and creative career paths as the Founder of Double or Nothing Media: • I craft products, programs, and projects that make a difference; • I build the business plans that make what I craft financially sustainable; • I tell the stories that matter about the people, places, and products that inspire me. Follow my adventures on Twitter at and Instagram at


7 thoughts on “Wonder: Behind-the-scenes at DC’s Union Market

  1. Really like the “Wonder” focus you’re pursuing, Christa! Union Market seems like a dynamic convergence of opportunity, creativity, risk taking, enjoyment and effort.


    Posted by Jan Schaper | January 17, 2016, 12:57 pm

I'd love to know what you think of this post! Please leave a reply and I'll get back to you in a jiffy! ~ CRA

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