A true independent retailer at heart, My Organic Market doesn't just follow trends for their own sake. Owner Scott Nash and his team — including a full-time environmental coordinator — first evaluate every step to make sure it's consistent with their core beliefs. It's all part of a business model where profits become a symptom of the purpose.
“We have financial and operational initiatives, but they all lead back to our purpose of restoring the environment,” said Nash.
In putting the mission before the money, MOM's — as it's affectionately known — has become a pioneer in the industry. Two years ago, it became one of the first retailers to offer reusable bags to customers. The five-store company, headquartered in Rockville, Md., also buys enough wind power to offset its operations, has an extensive recycling program, and offers environmentally friendly incentives to employees — such as donating $3,000 toward the purchase of a hybrid car.
To bring its purpose full circle, MOM's also makes sure to educate shoppers at every turn. When the company decides not to offer lemons because they're out of season, for example, signage goes up in the produce section explaining that decision.
“We really try to work hard to get people to understand the why and the how behind what we do,” Nash said.
Nash hopes to continue to stay ahead of the game. This spring, MOM's transitioned to 100% sustainable seafood. And soon, the retailer will begin cutting back on its inventory of bottled waters, many of which leave a large carbon footprint, according to Nash.