ALUMNI PROFILE: Danielle Vogel '07

fighting climate change, one bite at a time

Danielle Vogel
Danielle Vogel

Danielle Vogel ’07 pivoted from environmental policy wonk to local grocer with a singular vision: fight climate change.

A fourth-generation grocer, Vogel opened Glen’s Garden Market in Dupont Circle on Earth Day 2013 after spending a decade working on climate change policy on the Hill and enforcement of the Clean Air Act for the U.S. Department of Justice. While her shift might sound surprising, it was a natural next step for Vogel, who made the pivot after deciding that lawmakers weren’t moving fast enough.

“I wanted to take control of the pace of progress,” said Vogel. “Every decision we make here is made with the environment in mind.”

Glen’s exists to make climate change progress, one bite at a time, by sourcing products locally, mandating a 100 percent no-waste kitchen, providing the community with free composting services, recycling, using solar power, and offsetting the carbon impact of trucked-in produce by planting trees in the region.

“We’ve made it easy and delicious for our neighbors to make incremental climate change progress by filling the store with sustainably sourced options,” Vogel explained. “Whether you’re drinking a beer, enjoying a sandwich, or choosing a locally made jar of pickles, you’re participating in the ‘good food’ movement.”

At the same time, Glen’s is helping to build the local food movement by supporting area food startups. The store has launched 83 local small food businesses, 49 of which were started by women and 21 by people of color, Vogel said.

Glen’s was named for her late father, Glen Rosengarten, who founded Food Emporium, a chain of stores in the New York region. For many years Rosengarten had hoped to re-create New York City’s early farmer’s market, once located under the 59th Street Bridge. Glen’s Garden Market is a modern take on that concept, Vogel said.

In addition to running Glen’s, Vogel makes time to serve on the AU Alumni Board. “I had a spectacular experience at Washington College of Law, and I’m constantly looking for ways to remain engaged with the AU community,” she said. Vogel serves as a guest lecturer in Thomas White’s Entrepreneurship class at the Kogod School of Business and brings students to Glen’s to get an up-close look at her small business in action.

Vogel and her grocery are gaining attention beyond the campus, too. In 2018 the U.S. Chamber of Commerce recognized Vogel for small business achievement in the Green/Sustainable Business category and Glen’s has been voted Best Specialty Food Market for three years running in the Washington City Paper’s ‘Best of D.C.’ contest. Progressive Grocer magazine named her one of 2018’s Top Women in Grocery.

“We've made it easy and delicious for our neighbors to make incremental climate change progress by filling the store with sustainably sourced options.”