The chain restaurants and handful of interesting eateries (e.g. Spice Xing, Carbon, La Canela) in Rockville Town Square will be joined this spring by Dawson’s Market, an organic and locally-sourced supermarket. The 15,000-square foot store will open at the intersection of Beall Avenue and North Washington Street, and provide Rockville shoppers with a place to find local, organic and sustainable produce, seafood, meats, dairy products, prepared foods and baked goods.
This will be the second such market for Rick Hood, who has owned Ellwood Thompson’s Local Market in Richmond, Va. since 1989. Like that store, Dawson’s will work with local farmers (within a 100-mile radius when seasonally possible) and feature non-food items from local artisans, such as soap, greeting cards and body care products. It will also have a café and self-serve food stations, including a “living food bar,” that will sell marinated or minimally-cooked foods, according to Ellwood Thompson’s director of marketing, Paige Bishop.
Bishop said Federal Realty, the landlord of Rockville Town Square, approached the Richmond market to open there. Jill Powell, senior marketing manager for Federal Realty, said the street level space under an apartment building was “always intended for grocery use.”
The store is named after Rockville’s Dawson family, whose 1874 farmhouse and park are on the National Historic Register. Bishop said the name “lends local flavor to the market. We actually had a conversation with Beth Dawson Rogers, and asked for her permission. She’s the family historian. We didn’t have to [get permission], but we wanted to. We wanted to make sure we had the blessing of the community and family. We’re going to be an active part of the community as well.”