Sensory Delights at Eastern Market


Eastern Market’s outside arts and food market fills with sights, sounds, smells and tasty foods from around the world on every Saturday and Sunday of the year. Located on Capitol Hill on 7th St SE, it is easy to get to from Eastern Market Metro stop. There are plenty of two-hour parking spaces around the surrounding blocks yet most neighbors of the Hill prefer to walk there, dog on leash, baby in stroller, husband and wife hand in hand, all are ready to shop!

Scope out Dimitri Olive Farms for tasty samples of roasted garlic, olives flavored with garlic/lime mix or stuffed with garlic and oregano. From their farm in southern Greece, husband and wife, Dimitrios Giannakos and Panagiota Komninou along with their son, Dimitrios Komninos, offer flavored olive oils using family recipes, cold pressed extra virgin olive oil that is unfiltered and a wide assortment of cured olives from Dimitri Olive Farms and Greek Super Foods.

Rachid Saad, is the founder and CEO of Moroccan Saffron, LLC based in Washington. He sells pure Moroccan saffron at reasonable prices and spiced salt cooking mixtures and specialty teas. He also sells organic, raw honey from the Shenandoah Valley, VA.

The word Mirasa means heritage, so I learned from textile designer Aashumi Shah. She started nine years ago making soft toys for her niece and turned her love of crafting and textiles into a baby toy company, called Mirasa. Creating hand sewn, gender neutral rattles, adorable onesies, and cuddly pillows, she contributes part of her sales proceeds to the Room to Read program for girls’ education.

Wooden bowls, all food safe, dog bowl stands, candle holders, serving trays, and salt and pepper mills made from hardwoods such as maple, black walnut, and cherry are crafted by owners of Cedar Branch Crafts, Ken and Kristi Tolliver, from Virginia. Hand sanded to a smooth finish, oiled with natural waxes, these are wooden sculptures that can be used for home décor or at your dining table. Check out their wooden knife holders, made to mount on the wall from wooden planks filled with magnets, these can hold all your kitchen knives safely and securely near your work space.

The Tolliver’s daughter, Maddie Tolliver, also sells at Eastern Market under her company, Spiffy Paw Collars. Check out the designer fabric bowties Maddie sews herself for your special four-legged friend who prefers to dress up for their walks.

Another sewer, Jacqueline Bryant Campbell, started over 15 years ago by first making quilts. Her daughter who was five at that time asked her to make a doll and after lots of trial and error, she created a line of fashion dolls with hand dyed materials and batiks clothing and colorful batik outfits, called Jacq’s Dolls. Naming her dolls herself is a pleasure and a selling feature, such as her mermaids Calypso and Marina. She even makes “Hamilton” dolls based on the Broadway play. Ballerinas, fairies, and a new male doll, Franklin, make up an entourage of adorable, cuddly friends for your children to play with.

“Gourmet” soap bar logs of various hue, fragrances, and shapes are cut by hand to your size request by owner and maker, Olivia Cook at Peacock Botanicals. She also makes shea butter lotions and bath products to guarantee radiant skin.

Elias Morr and his wife, Valencia, are concerned environmentalists. Together they created Peacesake Candles & Co. to fill your home with delightful scents that offer a clean burn. With organic cotton wicks, soy wax, eco-friendly ingredient and fragrances such as white lavender, lime in a coconut, cinnamon chair and intoxicating midnight amber, these folks are dedicated to green living and the environment. They will even recycle your used glass candle jar for $1.00 rebate toward product.

Abstract artist Rayhart sells original paintings, art t-shirts and sweatshirts, and matted prints/cards. He explains, “I paint from the inside out, not the outside in.” His creations come from emotional memories and not from a live model or visual memory. Complex, filled with color and emotion, choosing the image you like the most will be a difficult task.

Beautiful framed and matted “Images by Lucas Bojarowski” are sold by camera toter, Lucas. He has traveled far and wide to capture stunning scenes including iconic Washington DC photos for you to enjoy and fill your walls with art.

Erika Rubel of Had Matter takes objects such as old magazine pictures, discarded license plates, and small wooden crate boxes and adds mirrors, hooks, shelves to create her unique, decorative and functional mail pockets, spice racks, and more. She will even create a personalized custom racks, clock or bird house just for you!

Like guitars? How about a lamp made from a guitar, add some cymbals and you have a crazy light fixture from Pete Kledaris of Muse Lamps. Repurposing everyday objects such as instruments, pipes, or car parts among other things, Pete fashions steampunk-style, functioning lamps that will be the conversation piece in your home. Add a bulb and you are all set.

Ending my tour with another tasting of delicious olives and oils, my final stop is with Kika and her father, Michael Sideris of Vordonia Athenola Extra Virgin Olive Oil Company. Michael’s motto, “I honor my father, my village, my ancestors and the famous Athenolia Olive Tree with each rare bottle.” One taste and it is clear that the ripe olives used in his age old, traditional recipes must be taken home for company to enjoy.


Karen Cohen is a former “Jersey Girl” and photojournalist living in Capitol Hill. An organic gardener, pet lover, activist and volunteer, she promotes art in the DC Metro area. Contact: