When Choosing Organic Grocers, Trust MOM


MOMs exterior

When I found out MOM’s Organic Market was opening in White Marsh, just 7 minutes from my home, I was thrilled. During the last 7 years, I have seen them grow from three stores to seventeen — quite a feat in the competitive grocery store world. Scott Nash started MOM’s in his mother’s garage at age 22 in 1987, before opening the first store in Rockville, Maryland. He has been making waves in the organic grocery world ever since.

As a professionally trained chef, grocery stores have been more than a passing interest to me for over 35 years. Wild Oats in Boulder, Colorado, was the first environmentally focused grocery store I found in the 1980s. They offered sustainably raised chicken, pork, and beef, as well as plenty of organic veggies and fruits. When Wild Oats was bought by Whole Foods, it seemed like a good move. Unfortunately, Whole Foods went on to become more like the big-box conventional grocers it tried to set itself apart from previously. Nowadays, hardly half of their fruits and veggies are organic on any given day.

Why MOM Organic Market is Different

What sets MOM’s apart are several things. First is the fact they only sell organic produce. Big deal, you say? The big deal is they source the best organic produce and the most variety of any store I have seen in my worldly travels. Items like sunchokes, brussel sprouts, shallots, and other hard-to-find organic veggies are stocked often. They occasionally sell local organic apples, even if they have spots on them.

It’s rare to see a grocer explain to their faithful customers that sometimes by virtue of not spraying apple crops, there will be spots — that it is perfectly natural and not harmful to eat such fruits. After all, if you are cooking the apples in pie, applesauce, or cobblers who cares if there are some spots on them?

8/19/2017 2:55:28 PM

DON'T BE FOOLED! It's too good to be true! Sherriem, you're complaints about WFM also hold true at MOM's. It's another good idea already gone corrupt. All organic produce? Emphasis on recycling? Yes it's all sold as organic produce, but some things slip through (as recently as this week) that are not organic and still make it to the customer under false pretenses at organic prices. As for recycling, don't assume just because MOM's accepts recycling, compost and other things that they are actually being handled properly. It's easy to tell people what they want to hear, but remain skeptical. Sparkling water and many other beverages in plastic bottles are still sold at MOM's (some glass packaging has even been replaced by plastic). I could go on and on. I work for MOM's and just like Sherriem working for WFM had been dazzled by a seemingly ideal business model, but it's just another corporation set on expansion and profit. So don't feel bad if there isn't a MOM's near you, be inspired and bring these good ideas to your own community to actually do some good for the environment instead of a grocery store that just says they do. The grass is always greener on the other side, but it's not always organic.

7/18/2017 5:15:33 PM

Is there any chance MOM's will be moving west? Would love to see one in Grand Junction, Colorado. We have a Whole Foods and a Sprouts. Neither one recycles or has bulk liquids. Typically, I shop at four different stores to find the best quality, price, selection, etc. And I only shop for one! Can't imagine what a family goes through to get good food. Please consider expanding west, thx. I'm with "sherriem" would love to visit Mom's.

7/17/2017 7:55:33 AM

As someone who has worked for Whole Foods Market for the past 14 years, I have experienced the erosion of a once vibrant, eclectic, and environmentally conscious culture, and am horrified to have watched it become the mass-produced, profits-or-due monster it is today. It's a f*cking shame. I had not heard of Mom's before today. I love the idea, and, for a moment I was remainder of how I once drank the Whole Foods cool-aide (don't want to offend any copyright holders). I LOVE your model of organic only. I love the emphasis on recycling!!! These were a few of my beefs with WFM. But Mr. Nash, I have to ask, what will keep Mom's from devolving into the aggressive, capitalist model of expand, or die that ultimately ruined the gorgeous culture that made Whole Foods Market special, in a world where the consumer has been trained to expect perfect beauty, low price, and convenience? I want to visit a Mom's! I think I would be moved to tears.

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