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Natural Foods Merchandiser

Community pride counts at Dawson's Market

Dawson’s Market natural products store
Retailer of the Year: Community engagement finalist

After owning Ellwood Thompson’s Local Market in Richmond, Virginia, since the 1980s, Rick Hood wanted to expand. Moved by the history and community pride of Rockville, Maryland, he believed Rockville Town Square would be the perfect home for a new natural foods market. In 2012, Dawson’s Market opened for business.

The store’s stated mission is to be the heart and soul of the community through a strong commitment to local and organic foods. The employees embody this mission through their passion for food but also in their daily lives. They’re enthusiastic about recycling, composting, volunteering, gardening and respecting nature. Here are three ways Dawson’s Market supports the community:

5% Days. Five days a year, Dawson’s Market donates 5 percent of sales to a local nonprofit. Volunteers from these organizations help staff bag up and carry out groceries as they discuss their nonprofits’ initiatives with customers.

Farmers market. Dawson's Market encourages the community to spend money with local farmers and small businesses instead of large corporations by hosting a weekly farmers market in front of the store. The market features fruits, vegetables, plants, flowers and crafts, along with delicious BBQ to savor while perusing.

Meet the locals. The store regularly invites community members to sample products from local vendors while sipping on beer or wine.

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