The sweet smell of double chocolate chip cookies, ham/cheddar/chive scones and other tasty treats wafted over the bustling streets of Georgetown on Saturday morning, as DogTag Bakery
celebrated its official grand opening.
The nonprofit small business serves as the cornerstone for a new "veteran-focused social enterprise" conceived by successful real estate entrepreneur and philanthropist Connie Milstein
and Father Richard Curry
, Adjunct Professor of Catholic Studies at Georgetown University.
During an innovative, six-month training program that combines a certificate of Business Administration from Georgetown's School of Continuing Studies with practical, real-world small business experience at the bakery, DogTag hopes to change the lives of participating fellows by better supporting the veterans' transition from military to civilian life.
CNN Chief Washington Correspondent Jake Tapper
emceed Saturday's program, which was held inside a crisp white tent temporarily erected adjacent to the bakery at 3206 Grace St. NW.
In addition to his broadcast reporting, Tapper maintains a close connection to veteran-related subject matter, as perhaps best evidenced by last year's The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor
, which debuted at #10
on the New York Times
Joining him on-stage over the weekend was Tammy Haddad
, now retired four-star General George Casey
, and Army Command Sergeant Major Billie Jo Boersma
But Saturday's list of notables wasn't confined strictly to the official program, with dozens of similarly accomplished attendees spotted milling about (sometimes with cookie in hand).
Some of the more familiar faces who stopped by to support DogTag's formal debut were Chef Jose Andres
creator Craig Newmark
, current White House Social Secretary Jeremy Bernard
, and First Lady Michelle Obama's Chief of Staff, Tina Tchen
, among many others.
The goal for DogTag's D.C. bow is to serve as a pilot program that lays the groundwork for a nation-wide expansion of its incubator concept over the coming years. Even before this weekend's grand opening, a variety of celebrated chefs and recognized thought leaders have stopped-by the bakery to meet with staff and brainstorm ways to further its existing successful momentum.
That's how you bake
a difference, after all.