Mom’s Organic Market—a chain with locations in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.—opened its 16th, and first Jersey, store, in Cherry Hill last month.
Ho-hum. Another organic market. Well, Mom’s really tries to protect and restore the environment with everything it does and sells.
Mom’s lights its stores with ultra-low-wattage LED bulbs; it uses non-ozone-depleting refrigeration units; it does not use plastic bags and, to further reduce plastic use, does not sell bottled water. It sells lots of gluten-free foods; all its produce is certified organic; the textiles, pillows and mattresses it sells meet similar standards. It does not carry goods that contain any of a list of more than 100 additives, such artificial colors, nitrates and sulfites.
“There is no other store like us,” claims founder Scott Nash.
Nash started the business in 1987, at age 22, after dropping out of college. He began by delivering produce, using his mother’s Maryland garage as a staging area.
As a teen, “I tried to choose healthy options,” he says. As for organics, “there was hardly anything out there. Today, the business has grown in every way, in awareness, products and customers.”
“Going organic is definitely a process,” says Nash, the married father of three. “People don’t go from Doritos and Pepsi to kale and kombucha overnight. It’s a journey. If you can get 80 to 90 percent of your nutrition from good organic foods, you are doing great.
Organics, he says, “are only five to six percent of the [food] industry. It’s hard to compete with the government subsidies going to the big guys.” Eventually, he says, “supply will catch up with demand, and prices will moderate.”
Mom’s sells oil, vinegar, honey, household cleaners, detergents and hand soaps in reusable bulk containers. It also sells supplies for backyard beekeeping, to help sustain these crucial pollinators.
Mom’s has a Naked Lunch vegetarian eatery, with prepared dishes under $10. There’s cauliflower stew, black bean burgers and pineapple-quinoa stuffed sweet potatoes. It’s open daily from 11 am to 8 pm.
Mom’s stores recycle batteries, cell phones, eyeglasses, shoes, corks, compost, lightbulbs (only until October 1) and—in annual drives—denim and electronics. This year’s electronics drive will be Oct 7-16.
For electric and hybrid vehicles, there are free charging stations.
Nash plans to add more stores.
“We are a company with a social mission,” he says. “And we’re not gonna stop.”
1631 Kings Highway North