A Corner Store Even A Foodie Can Love

Trickling Springs Creamery milk on the shelf at the new Aroma Bakery and Market on U Street NW.

I just downed a glass of cold, rich Trickling Springs Creamery milk that I scored yesterday, off a shelf right beside the Pepsi, from Aroma Bakery and Market. The U Street newcomer (1320 U St. NW) recently opened with a basic deli counter (the tomatoes are local), baked goods, a few fridges full of drinks and some staple items.

But back to the milk. Local, organic milk from grass-fed cows just isn't the kind of thing you see in many DC convenience stores. And generally speaking, save for a few spots like So's Your Mom, the city's corner stores, markets, bodegas — whatever you like to call them — are fairly run-of-the-mill.

But things seem to be looking up — especially if you're a foodie. When Timor Bodega opened at 200 Rhode Island Ave. at the end of 2007, food lovers and neighbors rejoiced over the selection of local meats, dairy (also Trickling Springs), vegetables and more.

Just last month, Cornercopia opened at Third and K Streets SE, selling organic produce, Firehook bread, cheeses, wine, a nice selection of beer, including Duvel and Dogfish Head, and specialty items like gluten-free snacks and almond milk. The store recently announced that it would start carrying Sticky Rice sushi.

These shops occupy the space — and fill a void, I think — between upscale gourmet markets and your basic lotto ticket-hawking corner store.

Back in my neck of the woods, I'll haul my empty milk bottle up to Aroma next week for seconds. I'm glad to have the chance to support a local business and local foods.

What are your favorite convenience stores-gone-gourmet? Think DC's are getting better?