A New Organic Market: Roots

January 2nd, 2008

The latest buzz in the DC burbs? A new organic market in Olney, Maryland. Despite 20 years in DC and its close-in suburbs, I’ve never ventured out to Olney, but after hearing my waiter at Bethesda’s Black’s Restaurant rave about Roots Organic Market, I decided it was worth the trip.

Nowadays, it’s not unusual for a family shopping for a mix of organic and conventional food and cleaning supplies to visit two or even three grocery stores to satisfy their needs. Then there are “Organic Maniacs” who frequent specialty organics grocery stores like Whole Foods, Trader Joes and MOM’s Organic Market, conventional grocery stores with organic sections such as Safeway and Giant, neighborhood health food stores a la Yes! Natural Gourmet, Balduccis gourmet grocer, the local co-op, and then top it all off with a weekly trip to a CSA.

Add Roots to the list! I felt like a jaded New Yorker given my organic shopping habits – I was just not prepared to be impressed by a store a solid 40 minutes from Northwest DC. But impressed I was.

I had barely walked in the door when I spied the hot mulled cider, free for the taking. This was just the start of more food samples than I’ve ever encountered in any grocery store. I enjoyed noshing on organic samples including pizza, apples, pears, cookies, biscotti, brownies, crackers with cheese, and chips with guacamole. And to top it all off, organic champagne!

The store is quite upscale – from its design to its product selection, which ranges from raw foodist to vegan to meat eater and seemingly everything in between. Non-food items include books, household cleaning items, make-up, and clothing. In fact, I saw products that I’ve not seen at the other (gulp) nine organic and conventional grocers I frequent. The service is as attentive as Nordstrom’s – three employees asked if they could be of assistance during my twenty minute stay in the store.

Prices are similar to Whole Foods. To help save a bit of money, take advantage of the fact that Roots heavily promotes coupon savings where products are displayed. You simply request the coupons at check-out. They also offer monthly sales circulars, which you can peruse on their website or in the store.

This store so intrigued me that I’ll be writing more about it in a future post. Let me know if you visit!

— Lynn

2 Responses to “A New Organic Market: Roots”

  1. MamaBird on January 2, 2008 9:15 pm

    Thanks, I will definitely check it out. Btw, do you have a CSA recommendation? I am about to sign up for one and wonder if you have a fave…

    Yes, the CSA associated with Shanti Yoga in Bethesda is fantastic. They have pick-ups on Capitol Hill, Arlington and East-West Highway in Bethesda. You can also order some food for home delivery. Check it out at http://www.schooloflife1/sfnm/quickreference.htm

  2. Sue on January 8, 2008 8:03 am

    I totally agree with you. My friend introduced me to Roots while out shopping this past holiday season. While it is a bit price, the staff is fantastic and so is the produce.

    BTW, if you are going to Roots in Clarksville MD, stop by their companion restaurant, Great Sage (www.great-sage.com). This is hands down the best organic, veggie-friendly place I’ve been too in years. Not only is the food delicious, the decor wonderful and kid friendly, but the prices are reasonable. I got a $7 dollar bowl of veggie chili. Thinking it would be small, I also ordered a veggie and hummus plate. I could not even finish the chili let alone the hummus plate. It’s worth the drive to Great Sage. Note: they are closed on Mondays.

    Thanks for the tip! I have been hoping to visit Great Sage and then to write about it. I tried to convince DH that it would be a good spot for our anniversary dinner, but he’s not convinced! — Lynn

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