Local First Awards



The Local First Awards celebrates local independent businesses, entrepreneurs, and artists who make a positive impact on our communities in diverse ways. The awards ceremony and party includes flash talks from leaders in the local economy movement, an open bar with the best local craft beer, culinary pop-ups featuring the best local food, an artist installation, live entertainment, and a Made In DC market.


Nearly 400 local business leaders, entrepreneurs, and artists along with their supporters gathered to celebrate and be celebrated at Blind Whino SW Arts Club for the inaugural Local First Awards.

“Think Local First threw their Local First Awards at Blind Whino last night and it was one of the most optimistic and down right cheery events we’ve seen in a long time.” – Brightest Young Things

“This uniquely-DC celebration brought the city together in support of local businesses and creators. The Awards, a Think Local First DC (TLF) initiative, spotlighted the most impactful local independent businesses, entrepreneurs, and artists in DC.” – Hill Rag

photo credit Brightest Young Things

Congratulations to the 2017 Local First Award Finalists and Winners (in bold)!

DC​ ​Maker​ ​ ​- a local business, entrepreneur or artist who designs, makes, produces, and/or assembles a product in the District of Columbia that makes an impact.

  • Anxo Cidery
  • Bailiwick Clothing
  • Cherry Blossom Creative
  • Hunny Bunny Boutique
  • Turning Natural

Ripple​ ​Effect​ ​- A business that supports the local economy by purchasing supplies and services from other local businesses, creating a “ripple effect” as money circulates within the local community.

  • Cava
  • Glen’s Garden Market
  • Mess Hall
  • Paul Ruppert Restaurants and Upshur Street Books
  • Steadfast Supply

High​ ​Road​ ​- A model employer who puts their people first by providing quality jobs, fostering a positive work environment, and championing beneficial business practices.

  • &Pizza
  • Clean Decisions
  • Comet Ping Pong
  • Love ‘n Faith Community Cafe
  • The Potter’s House

Green​ ​Thumb​ ​- An environmental champion who works to improve the local community through sustainable practices, products or services. This local business or individual significantly reduces waste or consumption, creates green products and/or provides green services.

  • Atlas Brew Works
  • Compost Cab
  • Love and Carrots
  • Misfit Juicery
  • Up Top Acres

Builder​ ​- A local community developer, investor, or lender with deep roots in the community and known for positive investments in DC’s people, culture, and future.

  • Cultivate Ventures
  • City First Bank
  • Industrial Bank
  • Menkiti Group
  • PN Hoffman

Pioneer​ ​- A local business, entrepreneur, or artist who inspires with a creative new idea, product, perspective, model and/or solution.

  • Check It Enterprises
  • Kelly Towles
  • Politics and Prose
  • Takoma Wellness Center
  • Tightshift Laboring Cooperative

Community​ ​Champion​ – A local business owner who makes a significant and noticeable
impact in the community.

  • Lee’s Flower and Card Shop
  • Sweetgreen
  • Yes! Organic Market
  • Cureate Connect
  • Union Kitchen

Thank you to our generous sponsors who make the Local First Awards great!


Think Local First DC