Dipa Did It

April 20, 2014

Pepco came.  Washington Gas came.  Pepco installed its meter and turned on the power and Washington Gas installed its meter and gave us gas.

We completed our construction and our oven technician came from California to turn on the ovens and heat them gently to 450 degrees over two days.  We made a test batch of bread in the deck oven and a test batch of little sweets in the pastry oven that grownup can walk into.

On Friday, we passed final inspections.  Tomorrow we began staff training and on Tuesday we will go to the District’s building to get our certificate of occupancy.  With work and luck we will open near the beginning of May.

Here is how all that happened:


Dipa Mehta is a reformed lawyer, a stay-at-home mother with young children who have started attending school.  So Dipa has some time and became intrigued by Bread Furst.  She got involved in our problems with the utilities in which I was mired.



With the help of Mary Cheh, our city councilwoman, Dipa inserted herself into the process.  She demanded that the D.C. Department of Transportation release Pepco’s contractor to dig up the sidewalk and lay our power lines.






She demanded that the gas company send a contractor to dig up the street and lay its new high-pressure pipe.

With a lawyer’s steel nerves she gave herself an appropriate title and changed it when that would help.  She called people repeatedly, often presenting ideas about how to get done what wasn’t being done.




She persuaded the gas company’s contractor to send a large crew to work on Saturday.  Saturday?  Even the workers themselves were surprised.

To the consternation of many, people, many, many I suspect, we were responsible for closing two lanes of upper Connecticut Avenue on Saturday to dig a trench and complete the work required for our gas upgrade.




Pepco came and installed its meter, brought lines into the store, and turned on the electricity





The gas company came, installed its meter the size of a modestly tall teenaged boy and turned on the gas.


And we were freed to begin.


On Friday we were approved on all counts by the departments that have to approve our construction and all that lies between us and opening is – our display cases.

We cannot ask the health department to come and inspect us until all our equipment has been installed and is functioning.   And it is except:

We ordered three display cases from Italy and they are – we believe – in the Customs inspection process somewhere in New Jersey.  We must somehow get them released and shipped here so that our construction can be completed entirely.

We’re not able so far to get very good information about why our cases are stuck or where they are or what we can do about it.
But Dipa is on it.

  1. shelleyfid says:


  2. shelleyfid says:

    Whoopee! Food Furst!

  3. Joe Palca says:

    How satisfying. It’s so great when work gets done. Looking forward to “opening night.”

  4. Marc says:

    Bravo Dipa

  5. Annie says:

    Three cheers for Dipa!! Perhaps there should be a bread or pastry named for her.

  6. Samir says:

    I am hungry – when to we eat? Good show as always sis….

  7. Mary Beth Ray says:

    Go Dipa Go! We are grateful for your tenacity!

  8. Betsy Levin says:

    Hooray and congrats on finding Dipa!

  9. wmcp4short says:


  10. Steven jenkins says:

    fascinating. maybe the liberal you now finally appreciates why conservatives like me rail at big government, the way it throws up barriers at every opportunity — fines, delays, murk, arcane rules and regs, thwarting projects at every opportunity, and how we cannot fathom why liberals in high places are so unsupportive of small biz people. and why you should need dipa and councilpeople in the first place. nobody in their right mind would want to put themselves and their investors through this. it’s as if liberals don’t see the need for jobs, bakeries, other community enhancements, unless they and their bureaucracies hold sway, yea and nay. dodd-frank? oy.

    • It’s tough these days to be enthusiastic about any large organization whether government, private, or other. I doubt, however, that Fairway Markets, your home, as big an organization as it has become, faces the kind of obstacles we have had to confront. I almost hesitate to point out that our gas company and our electric power company are allegedly regulated private businesses, however.

  11. Mary Ann Booss says:

    Congratulations on all fronts. Dipa is a star.

  12. What a great story! I was happy to see on my walk to and from work today that the windows are uncovered and people are working inside. Very cool.

  13. […] problems with utility hook-ups forced further delays. Then, over the weekend, Mark posted some good news on his Bread Furst blog. The gas and electricity have been turned on, thanks in large part to the persistence of Forest […]

  14. Zach Friedlis says:

    Well done Dipa! I cant wait for opening day!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *