The grand reopening of Dawson’s Market in Rockville Town Center drew “a really fantastic turnout of customers and the business community” Thursday afternoon, the grocery’s new owner said.
The Town Square store, which had closed in late October, is now owned by former general manager Bart Yablonsky, who signed a lease with Federal Realty Investment Trust for the space in early December.
Yablonsky estimated a couple hundred people showed up for the celebration, which included live music and an all-day happy hour.
“Today was great,” Yablonsky said. “Really good strong sales for the lunch rush, because it was at lunch time that we did the ribbon cutting.”
Several of Dawson’s vendors showed up to offer free samples, and the market raffled off giveaways from its local suppliers.
Yablonsky retained much of the staff and the store will continue to offer the same selection of organic products, though the new owner said he’s making several changes based on community feedback.
Dawson’s will now provide conventional items in addition to organic in an attempt to broaden the product mix.
Yablonsky also hired a chef to upgrade the hot food bar and installed a television to create a better atmosphere.
“We’ve had so much information come to us from the community about what they wanted and what they were supporting, and suggestions for improvements,” Yablonsky said. “We’re really trying to take all of that to heart and make those changes. I feel like we’ve got a really good understanding of what the community wants and we’re going to be able to provide that to them.”
The store closed on Oct. 27, unable to generate enough business to be financially viable, prompting a groundswell of support in the community urging a reopening.