Little Sesame Will Not Open Bethesda Location After Deciding to Focus on Hummus Distribution

by MCS Staff

Around this time last year we let you know that Little Sesame, a restaurant that offers freshly spun hummus and seasonal pita sandwiches, would be opening its first location outside of D.C. at 7118 Bethesda Lane in Bethesda Row. On Monday, the company announced that after a successful run of hummus production and distribution, it would be consolidating restaurant operations to its Golden Triangle shop, located at 1828 L St NW, and closing its Chinatown location on Thursday August 25. When asked if the statement meant that the Bethesda location would not be coming after all, Little Sesame replied “Sadly yes. Sticking to just one location for the time being.” The full statement can be seen below:

Nick & Ronen here with a little update:

Thursday, August 25th will be the last day at our Chinatown shop.

Our restaurants were positioned at ground zero of the pandemic, serving downtown office workers, and our business evaporated overnight. We’ve pivoted a million and one times to keep up with the changing landscape. Along the way, we did our best to serve our community, providing nearly 100,000 free meals across the city. At the same time, we knew we had to shift how we reached our customers so we built a food lab inside our restaurant and prepared our hummus for grocery store shelves.

We are restaurant people, with little experience in consumer packaged goods, but we found friends willing to help us, and we worked hard to figure it out. In June 2021, Whole Foods Markets started to sell our hummus – and we couldn’t keep the product on the shelf. For nearly a year we made the hummus in our shops, a careful choreography of thousands of pounds of hummus a week, around the daily hustle of operating a restaurant.

In early 2022, we moved production out of our shops and built a factory dedicated to hummus. It was a big step in our little company. And signaled a new direction. Fast forward to now: we’re in over 150 stores, up and down the mid-Atlantic. We’re in Whole Foods, MOM’s Organic Market, and Foxtrot. We just started a major partnership with sweetgreen, and will have a lot more exciting things to share over the coming year!

With growth comes change. We are consolidating restaurant operations to our Golden Triangle shop (1828 L St NW), which will become a hub for our community, our test kitchen, and our flagship. Though we’re sad to say bye to our Chinatown location, it gives us a chance to push the envelope and to bring back the spirit of the basement days where we first started.

We can’t thank you enough for all of your support over the years. We feel really grateful to count you all in our corner. And we pledge to keep spinning hummus as long as we can!

– Nick, Ronen & the Little Sesame Team


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