Homegrown Organic Grocer Finds Site for First Store in Northwest D.C.

Homegrown Organic Grocer Finds Site for First Store in Northwest D.C.

MOM’s CEO also considering Silver Spring for future expansion

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MOM’s Organic Market is looking to expand to Northwest Washington, D.C.

PHOTO COURTESY MOM'S WEBSITE

A homegrown grocery chain is expanding and is planning its first store in Northwest Washington, D.C.

Scott Nash of Chevy Chase started MOM’s Organic Market from his mother’s Beltsville garage in 1987 and opened the first independent location in 1990 on Parklawn Drive in Rockville.

Nash has opened 19 stores from Gaithersburg to Philadelphia and the Northwest D.C. store will be near the American University Park neighborhood on a property that formerly housed a Super Fresh supermarket.

The building MOM’s will go into will be brand new, though, under a plan to redevelop the property to accommodate a larger floor plan. Specifics about the development are still being ironed out, Nash said, but he’s confident it will be one of the chain’s most successful and unique store.

“It’s vague, but this is going to be fantastic, like ground zero for MOM’s customers,” Nash said.

The store likely won’t open for about three years due to construction, and Nash said he has ideas for other stores in the meantime, including Silver Spring, before expanding to more Philadelphia locations and into New York.

Meanwhile, his excitement for the new $2 million D.C. location is building.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s our best store,” Nash said Tuesday. “There are a lot of large neighborhoods around there and the demographic is educated and into the things we’re into. Plus, there aren’t any MOM’s locations around there, so it will really fill a major void.”

More United States consumers are turning to organic food, with a more than 6 percent jump in national revenue from 2017 to 2018, according to the Organic Trade Association. The growth rate was lower than between 2016 and 2017 of about 9 percent, largely attributed to slower growth in organic dairy and egg markets.

Nash said he founded MOM’s on core values centered around protecting and restoring the environment and the store sells all organic produce.

The privately held company posted sales of about $12 million a year per store, with roughly 50 employees at each store.

Nash said because MOM’s offers a unique shopping experience with solely organic products and lower prices, he doesn’t consider any other stores as direct competitors. Whole Foods is likely the closest to a competitor, he said, but the two complement each other well with different experiences.

MOM’s banned plastic grocery bags in 2005, plastic water bottles in 2010 and doesn’t sell products with cartoon characters marketed to kids. Nash also owns Bethesda’s Vuk Pinball, featuring sci-fi themed arcade games and vintage pinball machines.

Caitlynn Peetz can be reached at caitlynn.peetz@bethesdamagazine.com

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