A Sweet Saturday at the Mount Rainier Day Bake Off!

We had an amazing, sweet time at the Mount Rainier Business Association 3rd Annual Bake-Off as part of Mount Rainier Day! Congratulations to the winners:
Cookies: Ginger Cremes by Rajni Sood
Pie: Tomato Corn by Tara Graham
Cakes: 1st place Coconut Creme by Dale Thompson and 2nd Place Rhubarb Upside Down by Hannah Grisar
Best of Show Grand Prize: Lemon Mania Cake by Gianna Crawford

Thanks to everyone who tasted, voted, and baked!

All winners received cash prizes. Start planning your winning entry for next year!

Mt. Rainier Annual Bake-Off Sponsored by the MRBA

Weekend Bakers! Enter your best baked goods in the Mount Rainier Business Association’s Mount Rainier Day Bake-Off.
Entries will be judged by a combination of Mount Rainier residents and members of local Mount Rainier businesses.

Deadline to Register: May 18
Competition Date: May 19

Bake-off will take place on Rhode Island Avenue during
Mount Rainier Day. Judging and the awarding of prizes
will take place at 2:30 pm. Prizes include cash and gift certificates to Mount Rainier businesses. If you are a Mount Rainier resident and are interested in being a judge for the contest please contact: mountrainierba@gmail.com

Sew Creative Lounge

Welcome Sew Creative Lounge to our community! They are sewing up some amazing ways to spark your creativity.


Sip and Sew DC was created in 2014 by fashion designer Cecily Stewart Habimana and sewing instructor Tisha Thorne. Both Cecily and Tisha have been sewing since they were young girls and wanted to spread their love of sewing throughout the D.C. Metro region.


“Sewing is not only a special skill, but also an art form in its own right and a fun hobby, especially when you add a little wine to the mix,” Thorne says.


The duo has found that wine helps to relax attendees, especially newcomers who perceive sewing to be much harder than it actually is.


“People come in with a lot of anxiety about sewing,” says Habimana, who started her clothing line in high school and designed her first garment at the age of 16. “Our laid back teaching style combined with the moral support our students give to each other and that nice glass of chardonnay in their hand all help to take the edge off a bit.”


Habimana also notes that it’s more than the wine that draws attendees to the workshops.


“We noticed that there really aren’t many places where people can take physical sewing classes, even though there is clearly a demand for it,” she says. “So, we decided to fill that void, then take it one step further by making it more of a social affair.”


The response has been overwhelmingly positive. The classes, which take place all year long, are very popular with classes selling out well in advance on their scheduled date.

Not far from downtown D.C., an affordable and blooming inner suburb

Not far from downtown D.C., an affordable and blooming inner suburb

By Lester Davis January 18


Residents say the community has the charm and amenities of some tony suburbs without the sticker shock.

Beverly Perry’s reason for moving to Mount Rainier, a bedroom community in Prince George’s County outside the District, might not be dreamy and idyllic.

But in the 17 years since she moved to her house on 37th Street, Perry, a retired federal contractor with the General Services Administration, has grown quite fond of the community.

“I moved here because I couldn’t afford to live in Takoma Park,” said Perry, as she let out a belly laugh.

She didn’t realize it at the time, she said, but Mount Rainier has many of the qualities that attracted her to Takoma Park — trails and park space, established neighborhoods, and proximity to stores and businesses. And with real estate a fraction of the price of many houses in Takoma Park, Mount Rainier turned out to be a diamond in the rough that’s grown more valuable after nearly two decades, she said.

“I live on a street with six houses and when I look out my back yard I don’t see anything but woods,” Perry said. “I love it because since my neighborhood is historic, I won’t wake up one day and find myself staring at a massive development,” said Perry, who lives in a 925-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bathroom Colonial that was built in 1923.

[In NW D.C., a neighborhood ‘like a cross between suburbia and urbanity’]


Artist community: Founded in the first years of the 20th century as a streetcar suburb of Washington, Mount Rainier has been transformed over the past dozen years from a sleepy community a short distance from downtown to a lively destination with an established arts scene and growing options for dining and shopping, said Christian Anderson, an agent with Exit Deluxe Realty.


The community has served as a magnet for artists, thanks to its designation as a Gateway Arts District, a distinction that provides housing incentives for artists who live and work there, Anderson said.

“Mount Rainier is perfect for people who want to be close to D.C. but prefer a little more land and space,” Anderson said. “A number of investments the city made, from a development standpoint, are beginning to pay off as more shops and restaurants open and help attract more people.”

The community is a historic area with a number of mail-order houses from the Sears, Roebuck and Co. catalogue and Craftsman-style homes, a designation that helps combat overdevelopment and high density, two things that can turn away potential buyers, Anderson added.


[In Arlington, a neighborhood lures back the people who grew up there]

Janet Thomas, who moved to the Washington area from Texas in 1986, said she discovered the town by chance during a drive. Mount Rainier’s small-town vibe reminded Thomas of her home town of Prairie View and she said she thought, “If I ever buy a house I want to live here.”

A few years later, when Thomas was ready to purchase a house, the first neighborhood she searched was Mount Rainier, she said.

“When I first moved here, we were kind of off the beaten path,” said Thomas, who lives in a 750-square-foot, two-bedroom, two-bathroom 1920s Sears, Roebuck and Co. catalogue house on 37th Street.

Dawn Sims, 34, who’s lived in Mount Rainier since childhood, said she hasn’t considered living anyplace else and is attracted to the community’s diversity.

“The cultural diversity in Mount Rainier is a great asset,” said Sims, who lives in a 1,000-square-foot, three-bedroom, one-bathroom, two-level brick house on Wallace Road.

“Other neighborhoods in the area are just too segregated,” she said. “This is the perfect place to raise a family.”

Living there: Mount Rainier is bordered by Queens Chapel Road on the north, the town of Brentwood to the east, the CSX rail line to the south and Eastern Avenue at the D.C. line to the west.

Mount Rainier, founded as a streetcar suburb of the District, benefits from historic status and being an arts district. It has a number of Sears catalogue homes and Craftsman-style houses. (Justin T. Gellerson/For The Washington Post)

In the past 12 months, 40 properties have sold in Mount Rainier, ranging from a 1,388-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bathroom Cape Cod for $191,100 to a 1,548-square-foot, five-bedroom, three-bathroom Colonial for $545,000, said Anderson, the real estate agent with Exit Deluxe Realty.

There are seven homes on the market in Mount Rainier, Anderson said. They range from a 1,183-square-foot, four-bedroom, four-bathroom bungalow for $339,900 to a 1,560-square-foot, five-bedroom, four-bathroom Colonial for $539,000.


Schools: Mount Rainier Elementary, Hyattsville Middle and Northwestern High.


Transit: Several routes on the Metrobus system and Prince George’s County’s The Bus serve Mount Rainier. The neighborhood is a short car ride to the West Hyattsville Station on Metro’s Green Line and the Rhode Island Avenue-Brentwood Station on the Red Line.



Crime: In the past six months, there have been 45 reports of stolen vehicles, 41 assaults, 27 burglaries and 17 robberies reported in the area that includes Mount Rainier, according to crime data provided by the police.



Vote for Sweet & Natural in Best of D.C. 2018 Poll

Our own Sweet & Natural won in the category of "Best Vegan Food" in the Washington City Paper 2017 Best of D.C. Reader Poll. Vote for them this year as well! Support our other businesses, too!


Best Vegan Food

Sweet & Natural

4009 34th St., Mt. Rainier, (301) 277-9338


You could eat a meal at Sweet & Natural every night of the week and never get sick of it. That’s a remarkable feat for any restaurant but even more so for Sweet & Natural, which boasts an entirely organic and vegan menu. The small restaurant, situated in the quaint neighborhood of Mount Rainier, just over the D.C. border in Maryland, specializes in vegan takes on soul food entrees like fried chicken, meatloaf, fried fish, BBQ drumsticks, collard greens, and mac and cheese. Sweet & Natural also folds in vegan food from other cuisines, including quesadillas, stuffed peppers, and tofu teriyaki. It doesn’t matter if you’re vegan or not—Sweet & Natural is just damn fine food, full stop.

—Matt Cohen

Local Bakers Compete in Mount Rainier Business Assoc. Bake-off at Mount Rainier Day

Thanks to all the bakers who entered the first-ever Mount Rainier Business Assoc. Bake-Off at Mount Rainier Day and congratulations to the winners! Despite the rainy weather, there were 22 entries competing for cash prizes and gift certificates donated by local businesses.   

1st Place Cake - Tomato Spice Cake by Rajni Sood Laurent

2nd Place Cake - Rainbow Cake by Gabby Ritter & Esther Malaney

1st Place Cookie - Brown Sugar Cookies by Chelsea Davidson

2nd Place Cookie - Lemon Bars by Rajni Sood Laurent

1st Place Pie - Apple Crumble Pie by Matina Boddie

2nd Place Pie - Pecan Pie by Garrett Hubbard

Best in Show - Rainbow Berry Cake by Ashley Jones

And special thanks to our judges Lenny Robinson from Bird Kitchen & Cocktails, Timothy Park, Mount Rainier City Council Member Shivali Shah, Maryland State Delegate Jimmy Tarlau,and Jodi Beder.

Menkiti Group to launch remake in Mount Rainier as first project in Prince George's

Daniel J. Sernovitz, Staff Reporter-Washington Business Journal

The Menkiti Group is gearing up to launch a mixed-use development in Mount Rainier, what's expected to be the first of many for the District-based firm in Prince George's County.

Full Article: http://www.bizjournals.com/washington/breaking_ground/2014/11/menkiti-group-to-launch-remake-in-mount-rainier-as.html?page=all

My Two Cents: Nostalgia and good food live at Glut

BY SHAUNTRICE MARTIN — Beyond the store’s sometimes dusty shelves and laid back staff beats the heart of Mount Rainier — Glut Food Co-op. Glut is the neighborhood’s lone grocery store, and it’s the place where artists, church folk, Metro drivers, executives, and families come to stock up on affordable herbs, bulk items, cheeses, and freshly ground nut butters.

Full article: http://hyattsvillelife.com/my-two-cents-nostalgia-and-good-food-live-at-glut/

The Best Washington Neighborhoods to Buy a Home in 2015

Taking the plunge into Washington’s real-estate market? Consider these on-the-rise areas where it’s not too late to get a deal.

By Marisa M. Kashino


Hyattsville (20781):

This Zip code includes Hyattsville’s arts district—with new residences, retail, and restaurants from developer EYA—and the historic district. The result, says Ward, is “that walkable lifestyle and neighborhood feel that I don’t think most buyers picture in the suburbs.” Whole Foods—the ultimate sign that an area has arrived—will land about a mile away in late 2015 as the anchor of a development in nearby Riverdale Park by Calvin Cafritz Enterprises.

Median sold price: $260,000 (up 23.8%).

Average sold price: $265,733 (up 20.4%).

$287,500 buys: A three-bedroom, three-bath Cape Cod in the historic district.

$480,825 buys: A new three-bedroom, four-bath townhouse.


Or try Mount Rainier (20712):

Though closer to the District, this Prince George’s neighborhood is less developed than Hyattsville. “The housing stock is more degraded, but it has lots of Arts and Crafts homes and bungalows,” says agent Kevin Wood of William Sawyer & Co. “And it’s right on the DC border.” In November, Menkiti Group announced plans for a development with Joe Englert as a tenant—he’s the guy whose hip bars helped revitalize Northwest DC’s U Street and Northeast’s H Street.

Median sold price: $260,000 (up 16.9%).

Average sold price: $254,514 (up 8.7%).

$220,000 buys: A two-bedroom, one-bath bungalow that needs work.

$339,900 buys: A renovated five-bedroom, three-bath bungalow.

Click to read full article

You're invited! MRBA Annual Meeting & Holiday Party

Mount Rainier Business Association

Annual Meeting & Holiday Party

December 10, 2014 from 6:30-8:30pm

FREE: Enjoy a taste of Mount Rainier food and beverages from local establishments.  Join local businesses to elect our board of directors and review our plans for 2015.

Mount Rainier City Hall Plaza
1 Municipal Pl, Mt Rainier, MD 20712

RSVP: MRBAHolidayParty.eventbrite.com

Contact: Mountrainierba@gmail.com

MRBA Welcomes The Waterhole

The Mount Rainier Business Association welcomes their newest member, The Waterhole, a brand new juice and smoothie shop located at 4004 34th St. Mt. Rainier, MD 20712. The Waterhole is a "healing space for like minds and people who are interested in health and creating a healthy lifestyle". They offer event catering and food educational services.

The Waterhole is owned and operated by Lisa Harris, an artist living at Mount Rainier Artist Lofts. She's been in Mount Rainier for the past 6 years and seeks to "heal the community through natural resources" and create "a space that supports good health." The Waterhole began when her father passed away from cancer in 2013, and she became inspired to pursue her dreams and passions around finding holistic natural health through the power of good food.

The Waterhole's menu includes organic juices and smoothies. The cafe location has wi-fi. The Waterhole is a rentable venue that offers Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free, and Raw Catering, hosts small receptions, gallery showings and community events. More information can be found online: www.thewaterholecommunity.com

Gateway Arts District breathes new life in Prince George's County

A portion of the Prince George’s County Route 1 Corridor is breathing new life thanks to the arts.

A unique community known as the Gateway Arts District formed in 2002 and now county leaders want to see even more growth. The Arts District includes the Mount Rainier, Brentwood, North Brentwood and Hyattsville neighborhoods. Together they offer shopping, entertainment and restaurants capped off with art studios and galleries.

County leaders want developers to take notice and begin investing.

Read More

After more than a decade, some in Prince George’s still waiting for arts district boost

Survey under way to find out what is hindering business growth

     by       Staff writer Timothy Sandoval/ The Gazette

Carole Bernard, executive director of the Gateway Community Development Corp., said her nonprofit group has added more studio space for artists in the Gateway Arts and Entertainment District. Now her organization is looking to survey businesses to determine how to encourage business growth in the district .

When the Gateway Arts and Entertainment District was formed in 2001, officials hoped it would spark business growth in the four municipalities it encompassed.

Twelve years later, only one city in the district, Hyattsville, has experienced growth in retail, Gateway officials said, while the other three — Brentwood, North Brentwood and Mount Rainier — lag behind.

For more, please see full article: http://www.gazette.net/article/20130211/NEWS/130219979/0/gazette&template=gazette

Mount Rainier businesses to get an artistic makeover

Intisar Haamid, owner of Circle Deli in Mount Rainier, wants her business to stand out, but she said the building’s beige exterior and small storefront sign make that difficult.

“It is extremely plain,” Haamid said. “I need something to focus attention on the building.”

Haamid said she would like to see some small murals and perhaps a larger landscape painting on the building. She might get her wish in the coming months as her building was chosen to be beautified by an artist as part of the third annual Better Block Project, an initiative spearheaded by nonprofit arts center Joe’s Movement Emporium to improve the look of the city.

The initiative is funded through a $50,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for Joe’s Movement Emporium to run its Art Lives Here campaign, which includes the Better Block Project and other initiatives that pair artists with businesses in the city to reduce blight.

To read the rest of the article, please see:  Mount Rainier businesses to get an artistic makeover