Yesterday I told a friend who grew up in Silver Spring that I was considering stopping by the new MOM’s (My Organic Market) in Timonium, at the intersection of York and Ridgely Roads (near the Old Navy). “There’s a MOM’s in Baltimore?!” she yelped. Well, there is now — and any grocery store that gets people that excited is definitely worth a visit.
It’s easy to see why MOM’s might inspire loyalty in folks. The store’s dominant eco/green bent is no passing fad; the small mid-Atlantic chain has been an early adopter of energy-saving bulbs, wind-power energy offsets, and other energy-saving initiatives. All produce is organic, and they don’t sell bottled water at all — this fact is mentioned on one of the helpful little signs that dot the store, explaining some of its virtuous choices. It’s enough to make you feel like a better person just from a half-hour of grocery shopping.
So how does MOM’s measure up against everyone’s favorite virtuous food clearinghouse, Whole Foods? At 11,000 square feet, the Timonium MOM’s is less than half the size of Baltimore’s Whole Foods stores (both the Harbor East and the Mt. Washington branches are around 25,000 square feet), and has a cozier, less-swanky feel. (“It feels like a big co-op,” one of my shopping partners noted.) The produce section is certainly smaller; all of MOM’s produce is organic, which is either a plus or a minus, depending on how much you care about that sort of thing.
But by my thoroughly unscientific reckoning, MOM’s appears to have a more extensive bulk section than Whole Foods, with a significant bulk spice collection (beet powder! broccoli seed!) as well as bulk loose-leaf tea options. The store has a good selection of prepared foods from Zias, many of them vegan. There’s also gluten-free and raw-food sections, if you’re one of those “special diet” types. On the whole, prices were slightly cheaper than Whole Foods, though not remarkably so. They stocked my favorite tofu (made by Twin Oaks Cooperative Foods). Their bread is super fresh.
All in all, it’s a cozy place with a real commitment to the whole local/sustainable/green ethos. It’s got that new-grocery store smell (in a good way), and all sorts of weird supplements, and a huge tea selection, and employees were almost manicly helpful. Worth a visit for sure.