I love grocery shopping. Absolutely love it. I’m proud to say that I think part of my grocery shopping success — what makes it feel more like a pleasant outing than a chore — is that I don’t subject myself to the giant chains. It’s not hard, since Baltimore is a town with a spectrum of options when it comes to stocking the kitchen, and among the crowd one store stands out: Eddie’s of Roland Park. How, exactly? Well, for generations it has offered the finest meats and produce, fancy foods and one-of-a-kind customer service that families in North Baltimore have come to rely on and cherish.
This Saturday, the Baltimore culinary landmark celebrates 20 years (and three generations) at the Charles Street store with a “Shop Local” anniversary event. The event is meant as a way to say “thank you” to customers old and new, while offering tastings from some of Maryland’s finest food purveyors. This doesn’t just mean tasty samples (though of course, there’ll be plenty). It also means a meet-and-greet with local vendors. As Nancy Cohen, President of Eddie’s (and the daughter of its founder, Victor Cohen) tells us, “We have always prided ourselves on our relationships with local vendors. We like to say that we promoted local products before it was fashionable to do so.” And in terms of selecting local products for its shelves, Eddie’s certainly knows how to pick ‘em. The store has been a dedicated carrier of Zeke’s Coffee (the treasured local roaster currently has Orioles themed coffees available in the stores) as well as of Albert Kirchmayr—a noted local purveyor of top-quality, hand-crafted chocolates. They also carry Vanns Spices—locally bottled herbs, spices and seasoning blends favored by chefs and home cooks across the country. “What makes these vendors special,” says Cohen, “is the care they take in making their products. They use the best ingredients in products that make Baltimore proud. We know our customers like to support local businesses and small businesses, as do we. These vendors are not big corporations, they are small, closely held businesses, just like Eddie’s of Roland Park.”
But part of what makes Eddie’s of Roland Park feel so special (just drop in for a sandwich or a cupcake and soak up that old-fashioned-neighborhood-grocery-store feel) is the combination of great products and service intertwined with a great local community. (Indeed — the deli counter has even named many of its sandwiches after neighborhood schools.) Staff are always on hand to answer questions and offer culinary advice, but you’re just as likely to get a recommendation from a fellow shopper, or run into a neighbor. Says Cohen, “Both of our stores are located in strong, stable and vibrant communities, with the best shoppers. Our customers value quality and service…They appreciate the lengths we go to in order to provide the Eddie’s of Roland Park experience.”
Keeping the vision of that experience alive today are Cohen and her son, Michael Schaffer. When asked what we can expect from Eddie’s next 20 years, Nancy Cohen is hesitant to make predictions. “We don’t make big plans for the future,” she says, “because where we go will be dictated by the needs of our customers and trends in the marketplace… We know that the quality and service we provide, such as personal shopping and delivery, will never go out of style… So I don’t know exactly where we will be in 20 years, but I can promise you we will be right on top of what our customer base wants and needs from us. I am confident that when the third generation of Eddie’s ownership takes over, with my son, Michael Schaffer, he will steer the company in the right direction.” We believe it. That’s why we’re more than happy to celebrate with Eddie’s of Roland Park as they mark this important moment in time. And it doesn’t hurt that many of the local vendors they champion will be on hand with sumptuous tastings. The vendors you can expect to meet on Saturday include Zeke’s Coffee, Hawks Hill Creamery, Roma Sausage, Vanns Spices, Saval Foods and more. And of course, if you can’t make it to the event on Saturday, you can still pick up their products at Eddie’s of Roland Park any day of the week; and anniversary or not, you can always count on personable service and the community feel that make shopping at Eddie’s of Roland Park a grocery store experience you can look forward to.
Eddie’s of Roland Park celebrates its 20th Anniversary with a “shop local” event for the community on Saturday, April 13, 2013 from 11 am to 5 pm at their North Charles Street location (6213 N. Charles).
Throughout the week, both stores will also be celebrating this anniversary with daily specials such as Eddie’s Breakfast Blend Coffee Beans for $10.49/lb (regularly $12.49) on Tuesday, April 9; and Eddie’s Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes, $9.99 ea, (regularly $10.99) on Wednesday, April 10. For the entire week’s specials and more information, visit www.eddiesofrolandpark.com.
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