In October 2018, store leadership announced that Rockville, Maryland, natural products retailer Dawson’s Market would close by the end of the month. Within days, a rush of community voices pleaded for the market to remain open. So the director of operations, Bart Yablonsky, stepped up, working with the previous owner, landlord, city, county and many residents to find a way to keep Dawson’s alive. After just seven weeks, the store reopened under Yablonsky's ownership.
While Yablonsky plans to stick to the store’s core foundation of providing local healthy food and strong community support, some exciting changes are underway. Customer-requested products are making their way to the shelves, as are many non-food convenience items such as light bulbs, batteries, conventional medicine, basic office supplies and conventional cleaning and paper products. A new gift section provides rotating options for shoppers, and an expanded deli now offers sliced meats and cheeses. The calendar will also look a little different, with even more community events added; these events range from kid and adult cooking classes to wine classes.
“Things are going well,” says Yablonsky. “Customers have been so supportive over the past months as we rebuild, and I hear at least twice a day a sincere ‘thank you’ for reopening. We could never have done it without the support of everyone.”