The next popping destination for D.C. gastronomes will be Latin market La Cosecha when it starts opening in waves this August. The Union Market spin-off in the same neighborhood is still hooking vendors to join the party. The latest, FILOS Bakery, specializes in Mexican sweet bread pastries known as conchas and German almond butter crescent cookies called vanillekipferl.
Mexican-German-Italian proprietor Francesca Arienzo is a lawyer-turned-baker who launched her business in 2018 after completing the Carlos Rosario School’s small business and entrepreneurship program. She’s been selling her baked goods online.
Arienzo, who has two German grandmothers, was born in Mexico where she attended a German school. “That’s why I have so many recipes also from Germany that I want to add to my Mexican roots,” she says. “That’s how I came up with the guava streuselkuchen.” Germans typically make the buttery crumb cake with apples or plums instead.
She initially studied and practiced law, but couldn’t quiet her deep desire to pursue culinary arts. When she was in New York, still working in law, she volunteered in kitchens on weekends.
“While I was in New York I did a Mexican food presentation at the United Nations,” Arienzo says. “I prepared the breakfast for the meetings. The ambassador from Mexico to the United Nations used to call me ‘the lawyer baker.’”
FILOS Bakery, named for the knife Arienzo used while learning how to bake at home, will be cozy at 145 square feet. Arienzo will do all of her baking off site at commercial kitchen and food business incubator Mess Hall. There also won’t be any dedicated seating inside FILOS. Communal seating will be available inside the market.
In addition to conchas in trendy flavors like matcha and hibiscus, Arienzo will sell various tarts and cakes whole and by the slice. See a sample menu below.
Expect a fall opening for FILOS Bakery, which joins a host of other merchants including Mexican restaurant Amparo from Christian Irabién, ElCielo from Colombian Chef Juanma Barrientos, a sandwich shop from Peruvian Brothers, and Salvadoran restaurant La Casita Puperseria & Market.
“I think it’s a great place to bring people together again,” Arienzo says. “In this moment, when there is so much polarization regarding immigration… We’re keeping culinary traditions alive. I’m happy to be able to do it.”
La Cosecha, 1270 4th St. NE; lacosechadc.com
Menu subject to change: