The Chosen One — success at Founding Farmers


A few months ago we decided to flex our yenta skills and created The Chosen One — a matchmaking service for Jewish singles in the Greater Washington area. Although it took a few tries for us to get it right, we seem to have found success with our latest Chosen One couple — and we’re kvelling about it!

On Monday, July 15, we sent Erica Steen, 41, and Sanford Hoffman, 48, to Founding Farmers in Potomac for their first Chosen One date. Armed with only the knowledge that they were meeting another Jewish single (we didn’t give them any information to prevent Google and Facebook research before the date) the two met at the hostess stand for what would be a three-hour date full of laughter and talking.

Steen, the director of community engagement at the Washington DC Jewish Community Center, described the evening as “lovely” and added that the added mystery of not knowing anything about one another really contributed to their conversation.

“Since we really didn’t know anything about each other we started at the beginning and asked everything from ‘Where are you from?’ and ‘Are you close with your family’ to ‘What do you do for a living?’ and ‘What kind of music do you like?’ ” she said. “It was a very intriguing and interesting way to meet someone.”

An insurance broker, Hoffman explained that the commonalities between him and Steen made any first-date awkwardness disappear easily.

“We seemed to have several things in common and I like the fact that she works in the Jewish community so she is service-oriented and likes some of the same things that I do,” he said. “We seemed to laugh about several things which on an introductory date like this helped to break the ice a bit. I felt very relaxed.”

Steen praised the service at Founding Farmers, explaining that the attentive yet not-too-persistent wait staff combined with the delicious food allowed the two to get to know one another without being interrupted.

“The service was great, I would absolutely suggest to other people to go there for a date,” she said.

Hoffman agreed, adding that he felt “the overall food, service, quality and ambience was great.”

So, do the two want to see each other again?

“If he were to ask I would absolutely go out with him again,” said Steen.

“I thought the evening was very positive,” concluded Hoffman. “I thought she was very nice and we have some definite commonalities and I’d like to get to know her better.”

As of press time the two haven’t set a date for their second outing, but we’re hopeful that they will and that we’ll have continued Chosen One success.


As an added bonus of The Chosen One, we get to connect with area restaurants and venues while we work to set up the perfect first date. Our next Chosen One couple enjoyed delicious food and wine at The Wine Harvest in Potomac — but while the meal and libations were on point, how were our match making skills? Find out in the next Chosen One article. 

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