The local chain has responded by going greener than ever, especially in its newly expanded College Park location at the Hollywood Shopping Center at 9801 Rhode Island Ave., which officially reopened Friday and is triple its previous square footage.
The store, located in the former REI space near the Beltway, includes Naked Lunch, an organic, vegetarian eatery; Witches’ Brew coffee bar, featuring all-organic coffees roasted in-house and teas; and MOM’s Bake Shop, which sells unique, organic sandwich breads made from heirloom grains and live starters.
That helps differentiate it from competitors like the new Whole Foods at Riverdale Park Station, the Yes! Organic Market at Arts District Hyattsville, the upscale Safeway at University Town Center and even the upcoming Lidl in College Park.
But MOM’s went even further. The store also only sells sustainable seafood — even down to the canned tuna — and certified organic and sustainable clothing. It also sells sustainable insect proteins such as crickets. It has an area where you can recycle corks, eyeglasses, cell phones, household batteries, shoes, and plastic bags.
Outside, there are solar panel canopies that connect to electric car rechargers.
And if all that wasn’t enough, the store also now has a Backyard Beekeeping section with all the tools you need to sustain a backyard hive to help fight Colony Collapse Disorder. MOM’s CEO and founder Scott Nash, a University of Maryland graduate, is a beekeeper himself, and his personal collection of pinball machines — another hobby — occupies a space in the store.
“I grew up in nearby Beltsville and was told by many people that a store in North College Park would never work,” Nash said in a statement, noting that it was their second location. “Per square foot, it quickly became our busiest store!”
Five percent of sales from the store’s grand reopening, which kicked off Friday and runs through Sunday, will go toward Smart on Pesticides Maryland, a grassroots coalition of organizations which oppose toxic pesticides.