About Us

Number 1 Sons is a brother-sister team making barrel fermented foods in Arlington, VA.

The brother, Yi Wah, served as a Marine and has a background working in DC-area restaurants and fine dining, including Michel Richard Citronelle, Woo Lae Oak, Ray’s the Classics, and others. The sister, Caitlin, has worked in DC-area restaurants and is a graduate of William & Mary with a degree in government and biochemistry.

Simple and delicious food has been a constant in our life: our mom never made a birthday cake from a box and family dinners included plenty of vegetables and a fresh salad. Number 1 Mom taught us that good food shouldn’t be complicated – it can be made with simple, quality ingredients using traditional processes.

Number 1 Sons was born after Yi Wah and a few friends had a late-night pickle making session. They made vinegar and fermented pickles. The fermented pickles had many layers of flavor and were uniquely sour.

Caitlin and Yi Wah

After working in restaurants and bars across the city, Yi Wah gave up the late nights for early morning farmers markets and making fermented foods with his sister, Caitlin.

Number 1 Sons makes fermented foods that draw from food cultures from all over the world — pickles, kimchi, kraut and more! These foods harken to the traditional Chinese fermented foods and the vegetable-heavy dinners that Number 1 Mom made for her family.

“Our barrels change with seasonal and culinary inspiration”

We combine Number 1 Mom’s philosophy with our love for all things fermented like kimchis, krauts and pickles – and now kombucha. When in season, our vegetables are grown by farmers in the surrounding states. Naturally delicious microbes from fermentation, like the good bacteria lactic acid, preserve our foods and give them a delicious, sour and tangy taste. Some of our foods harken to a New York Jewish deli, others to a Korean root cellar. Our barrels change with seasonal and culinary inspiration.

We are Chinese-Irish. In Chinese culture the oldest son is called the number 1 son. Much is given to him and in return everything is expected of him. We feel the same way about our fermented foods. We preserve tradition and incorporate our unique, delicious recipes so you will say…

crunch and yum!

Look for the big green pickles and Number 1 Sons at area farmers markets!

Family Owned Since 2012
Caitlin with Pickle
Number 1 Sons Tents