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Peek inside the newest organic market in DC, at the Hecht Warehouse

While Ivy City has developed expansively in the past few years, there’s one thing it doesn’t have.
“It’s a little of a food desert in terms of organic markets,” says Eva Jannotta, communications coordinator at MOM’s Organic Market.
The shelves are stocked and freezers are full at MOM’s newest location at 1501 New York, Ave. NE. The grocer is ready for business with its grand opening weekend Friday Nov. 14 – 16.
The 17,000-square-foot store is the first retailer to open in the former Hecht warehouse, which Douglas Development is redeveloping into a mixed-use apartment complex.
It’s also the first MOM’s location to open in the District. There are seven locations in Maryland, three in Virginia and one in Pennsylvania.
Since 1987, MOM’s has remained family-owned and rooted in values.
“We are different because we protect and restore the environment,” says Jannotta. 
Sustainability is written throughout the store, literally. There are signs like “Be proud, our customers prevent 4,000 + grocery bags from being used everyday” near the store’s entrance and  “Bring your own container. Reduce waste” near the nuts stand.
There are even testimonials like “MOM’s milk is the closet to raw milk you can buy” from a farmer in Chambersburg, Pa. near the dairy section.
In the parking garage, there’s also free electric car charging for customers.
The Naked Lunch counter offers signature “organic raw juices” and “organic loved bowls” or customers can create their own. High-top chairs and counters with plenty of power outlets make the location prime for sitting down to eat.  
The chain also prides itself on serving the community the best way possible.
During opening weekend, five percent of sales are going to Sasha Bruce Youthwork, a non-profit tackling issues of homelessness, abuse and parenting among youth in the District. 
At MOM’s D.C. location, employees are paid $12.50 an hour, higher even than the District's ultimate minimum-wage increase, which will reach $11.50 in 2016.  
“We thought, why wait? We should do it now,” says Jannotta.
Customer service is also top notch, says Kim Striker, owner of Greentree Brokers.
“MOM’s has the nicest and most helpful employees and a great vibe in all of their stores,” says Striker, who’s been supplying products to MOM’s wellness section for ten years.
Striker shops at MOM's herself and believes it will be a catalyst for revitalization on this swath of New York Ave. “It’s a beautiful store… it’s convenient and has a great selection.” 

This article has been updated with one correction: it is not the first MOM's location to have a garage. There is also a parking garage for the MOM's in Merrifield, Va.

Read more articles by Christina Sturdivant.

Christina Sturdivant is a native Washingtonian who's always watching and writing about the latest cultural, community and innovative trends in the city. She's interested in people and companies that create equitable opportunities for longtime residents and transplants alike.
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