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A Person. A Photo. A Story.
This week: Taddesse on Tad’s Grocery

“I came to this country from Ethiopia in 1989. My brother was here, and he brought me over. First, I lived in Boston, Massachusetts, but then I came to Washington to be closer to my people. You know, there are a lot of Ethiopians in Washington.

“I did little jobs here and there, but I wanted my own business. My friend used to work at the Florida Avenue Market, and one day, he told me that a space was open. I had never been to the market before, but he told me lots of good things. When I came to see for myself, I liked it a lot, and thought it was the right place for me.

“I tell you, opening your own business is really hard work. I had to learn a lot, and I still learn things. But, I like being my own boss and working with the people. Here, I get to sell to everybody. We all need food. Black, white, African, and Spanish people all have to eat. When they do, they come to me.

“Now, I have been here for 11 years. My wife and I work here together. She works 15 days and then I work 15 days, so we can take care of our four children. In our time here, the market has changed a lot. There have been good times and bad times here. Most of that is because of how things are in the economy. Now, the recession makes it hard to have a business. But, people still need to eat! So, thank God, I am okay.

“They say that the market will be rebuilt in a few years. I am waiting and hoping for the changes. I hope that the changes will bring even more people here.”

Tad’s Grocery can be found at Stand 17 of the Florida Avenue Market at 6th &  Neal Pl NE.


“Danny Harris is a DC-based photographer and collector of stories. In September, he launched People’s District, a blog that tells a people’s history of DC by sharing the stories and images of its residents. Every day, People’s District presents a different Washingtonian sharing his or her insights on everything from Go Go music to homelessness to fashion to politics. Every Thursday he’ll share a favorite story with us”