The first Whole Foods Market (WFM) in Prince George’s County is opening next Wednesday, April 12th, in Riverdale Park, Maryland. All 40,000 square feet of it.
This morning, a number of folks got the chance to see what the store is all about through a preview tour. Now, based on a show of hands, it’s clear that most of us have set foot inside a Whole Foods before – so why’d we show up at 9am for the fanfare? Why’d we rush through our first coffee just to arrive on time for the 9am tour? Why’d I forfeit my chance of absorbing the calming, shakra-centering vibes that CBS Sunday Morning surely transmits through the airwaves (less so now that Mr. Osgood is no longer with us, but still)? Was it the lure of free samples? Was it the promise of shopping discounts? Was it the appeal of being able to say you were one of the first to enter? Did we just want an excuse to escape from our kids? Probably all of the above. So; was it worth it? Yes. For this local lovin’ lady, learning all about what Whole Foods Market Riverdale Park is doing to support and engage our local community made it worth the visit.
Two-thirds of Whole Foods Market Riverdale Park’s (WFMRP) employees live in Prince George’s County. That’s a pretty big deal. A BFD some may say but I don’t write that language here so you’ll just have to take their word for it. And this number will grow as more employees’ transfers are finalized. For many of these folks, working in Riverdale Park now means a commute less hectic and costly and time-consuming than one to Vienna or Rockville or even Silver Spring. For those with children or caregiving responsibilities, it means more time that they can actually spend with their families. Pretty sure that’s what we all want, despite my bits here and there about my offspring that jokingly suggest otherwise. I also learned today that arrangements are being considered for a shuttle to transport WFMRP employees to-fro the Prince Georges Plaza and College Park Metro Stations. Again – big deals. And for those who drive to work, they don’t have to pay for their parking; a cost that can severely eat into one’s paycheck.
Store Team Leader, Pia daSilva, is from Mt. Rainier, Maryland
Following in line with my local-lovin theme, I was tickled to speak with Store Team Leader Pia daSilva. Pia’s a UMD grad, a long-time employee of WFM and a long-time resident of Mt. Rainier, Maryland. Instead of commuting to Rockville as she had been, she’ll now just have a travel a wee bit up Route 1 to get to work. A parent of two young children, one in a local Prince Georges County Public School, this commute change will make a tremendous difference and improvement to her quality of life. High five!
Partnering with Local Nonprofits
From time to time, WFMRP will be partnering with local nonprofits to help raise money for their work and their mission. For instance, for today’s event, Art Works Now was selected to be their community tour beneficiary partner, which means that any donations made at the Art Works Now table today will be matched by WFMRP. On April 19th, WFMRP will be giving 5% of the days net sales to CASA MD. Relatedly, the Alice Ferguson Foundation will be their organization of choice for their “Nickels for Nonprofits” program. Whole Foods Market takes $.05 off your bill for every shopping bag you reuse; you’ll now have the option to donate that nickel to Accokeek’s Alice Ferguson Foundation. Whoop, whoop!
Maryland Flag Pride!
Throughout the store, you’ll notice the unique ways in which WFMRP incorporates elements of the Maryland flag into its decor – like along the aisles and on its dining tables. What’s that, Captain Obvious? No blue in the MD flag? Right. We know. But the shape is recognizable and that’s how they adapted to make it their own representation of what we all know and recognize.
I also learned that a number of their knobs and pulls were sourced from Hyattsville’s beloved Community Forklift. Maybe they can donate some goods/giftcards to one of Community Forklift’s upcoming First Fridays soirees? Hint, hint… 😉
Admittedly, a good part of today’s fun was sampling some of the goods that will be available and sold at WFMRP. Delish plantain chips, mango, warm chocolate chip cookies, pizza, sushi, etc!
|Mmm. Mamma like!|
Sample of Some of the Locally Sourced Products & Vendors:
- Assorted breads from Upper Crust Bakery, Beltsville, MD
- Body Scrubs made in-house, MD
- Cheese from Caprikorn Farms, Gapland, MD
- Cheese from Chapel’s Country Creamery, Easton, MD
- Cheese from Firefly Farms, Accident, MD
- Cheese by Cherry Glen Farm, Boyds, MD
- Skincare products by Honey Glow, College Park, MD
So, you see, I’m pretty pumped about Whole Foods Market coming to Prince George’s County, Riverdale Park. And while my family’s bottom line will mean mixing things up from time to time, it will be great to have the variety and choice at our fingertips. And those bike racks right outside with their self-service giddy-gadgets are pretty HAWT!