by Borderstan.com May 24, 2011 at 9:00 am 1,613 0

DC Grey Market at Local 16, Laura Herman photos, Borderstan

Jana and Laura attended the Grey Market DC on Saturday at Local 16. Click on the collage to see their slide show. (Photos by Laura Herman)

From Jana Petersen and Laura Herman. Laura is also a contributor over at Brightest Young Things; you can find her on Twitter @Lmhhabs.

Crowds flocked to Local 16 on U Street this past Saturday for “Grey DC,” a day-long event featuring the delicious and homemade treats of 25 local vendors. Crunkcakes anyone? How about sweet potato butter or pickled vegetables?

What, you may ask, is a grey market as opposed to a black market?

Appropriately characterized as an “underground” market, a grey market can be defined as the trade of a commodity through distribution channels which, while legal, are unofficial. What does unofficial mean? For vendors, it means the ability to sell their local goods without wading through much of the unnecessary red tape and bureaucracy that often slows or prohibits entry into “official” farmers markets. For patrons, it means a simple signature on a waiver that acknowledges the rules of a grey market.

Well, sign.us.up. (again and again and again). Vendors packed the space across the top floor of Local 16 — some inside, the luckier ones out — selling and sampling products ranging from Cuban Sandwiches and homemade pastries to vegan cupcakes, macarons (cancel your flight to Paris!), cakeballs, barbeque, grilled cheese, seafood gumbo, pickles and yogurt. We spent the afternoon taking in the sights, smells, samples, and crowds.

Here’s what we saw (and sampled!):

  • Crunkcakes, alcohol-flavored and infused cupcakes (the booze is added after baking so it doesn’t evaporate), were a big hit. (We picked up a yummy sampler filled with Kahlua, Tequila, and Bailey’s flavored treats to bring to a party that evening!)
  • Hand pies from Betsy’s Bites.

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