Meet Dawson’s Market owner Bart yablonsky
Dawson’s Market recently re-opened in Rockville Town Square to continue serving the community. Meet owner Bart Yablonsky to know more Dawson’s mission, changes and unique position in the marketplace.
Tell us about the mission behind Dawson’s Market.
Dawson’s mission is to be the heart and soul of the community through the products we sell and our commitment to our community. We follow a strict list of standards for everything we stock except for a small group of Community Request items that our customers have asked us to carry. We support our community through events, sponsorships, and our hiring practices. Dawson’s provides a full shop for our customers from produce, bakery, and prepared foods to meats, grocery basics, vitamins, and beer and wine. And now we have household items, gifts, and some conventional over-the-counter medicine.
We are happy to have Dawson’s Market re-open in Rockville Town Square. What is different about the locally-owned Dawson’s vs. the many chain supermarkets in the area?
Our primary advantage is that we are a single store that can react very quickly to customer and industry trends. You will find new items in our store on a regular basis and well in advance of competition. We are also better able to support our local vendors and work with them to build their business. I live close to the store and I take every opportunity to be involved in our community and support our local organizations.
Tell us about the new ownership in place and what changes shoppers can expect.
Now that we are independent, we have made the decision to add a few Community Requested products that would not have been stocked before. We have also added a new distributor who has given us access to items like light bulbs, batteries, and third party Gift Cards which you could find at other stores but not at Dawson’s. Our goal is to be even more of a neighborhood market with all the quality natural and organic items our customers demand plus convenience items that they previously had to go elsewhere for.
We are the largest grocery supporter of local products stocking items from over 75 local producers and growers within 100 miles of our store.
What are some of the new products and offerings as part of the grand re-opening?
We have added sliced deli meats and cheeses to our kitchen, expanded our seating at the bar and added a TV, several convenience items as listed above, and some national brands that have been requested. We have also made improvements to the quality of our produce and meat department. We are also expanding our selection of gift items to include toys and unique hostess and party gifts. In coming weeks, you will see cooking classes, birthday parties, a craft market, and wine classes added to our already long list of events and activities.
You received a Small Business Impact Fund program in conjunction with The Rockville Economic Development, Inc. (REDI). How will Dawson’s use that funding to continue growing?
The funds received will help support our operating costs and allow us to make improvements that were not possible before, like expanding our Bar area, adding classes, and bringing in some new categories of product.
Tell us about your Beer and Wine tastings and products which are unique for a grocer in Montgomery County.
Dawson's is the only Grocer in Montgomery County that serves beer and wine. Our Happy Hour is Monday through Friday from 4pm to 7pm. We also host FREE Beer and Wine tastings on Thursdays and Fridays. Join us at the bar for some local craft beer on tap or one of our unique wines. We stock a large selection of craft beer from Maryland, Virginia, and DC as well as popular brands from around the world. Our wine selection focuses on unique small batch production vineyards from around the corner and around the world. Our knowledgeable stewards can help select the perfect beer or wine and parings to enjoy with it.
How do you support local farmers and local vendors, and what is the impact on the community, health offerings and the environment?
We have taken many vendors from idea to market. We want to support the local vendors in our community and help them build a business while providing unique quality products to our customers that they won’t find at the competition. We attend local events focused on developing the Montgomery County Food Economy and I am on the board for the Montgomery County Food Council. In addition to providing free consulting to the vendors, we also help to create a network where they can meet local peers.
“Our Meet the Local’s event held the 2nd Tuesday of each month gives local vendors the opportunity to meet and talk with customers to better understand how their products are perceived. The event also provides network time for local vendors.”