My Phillly friends rave about MOM’s Organic Markets. In fact, they actually drive out to the Cherry Hill, NJ, and in Bryn Mawr, PA, just to shop at MOM’s. I wondered why, since Philly is not market challenged with two Whole Foods, a Trader Joe, Essene, and Penn Herb, plus lots of other markets I’m continuing to find. These friends said, “Fran, when the new Center City MOM’s Market (which will be the biggest store at 18,000 square feet) opens this week in your neighborhood, you’ll get it.” Today, two days away from the grand opening, I do get it. Last week, Char Nolan asked me and Alice Leung to join her at a pre-opening walk through of the store with the manager Jen.
Just have a look at these photos. The store’s manager, Jan and the entire the team are working super long days. For opening weekend, expect to see hundreds of items on sale and many of vendor tastings and events. Find the schedule here for opening weekend. You’ll find me and my big umbrella cart shopping there on Friday morning.
The MOM’s Story: Scott Nash started MOM’s at the age of 22 with an initial investment of $100, as a home delivery business out of his mom’s garage. On July 2, 1987, MOM’s made its first sale delivering to a customer who lived in Rockville, MD. After 3 decades, MOM’s has stores in four states and DC, employs 1,000+ people, and has created a corporate culture centered on their purpose, which is to protect and restore the environment. You will not find bottled water at Moms!
The Center City, Philly Grand Opening will feature:
- Meet and greets with environmental organizations.
- Local tastings, kids’ activity, henna art, giveaways, and much more!
- And, 5% of MOM’s Grand Opening sales will go to Philadelphia Orchard Project and Pennsylvania Environmental Council.
Gluten-free has its own sections on shelves and in the freezer areas. You’ll find plenty of grab-and-go salads, soups, and sandwiches, as well as food made to order at the Naked Lunch cafe. Breakfast is served, and so is beer and wine.
Among the many highlights of MOMS:
- The highest quality certified organic produce.
- Naked Lunch, an all-organic, vegetarian eatery, which serves breakfast, too.
- A liquid bulk section: with food items, bulk household cleaners, detergents, and hand soaps
- A large dry bulk section.
- A recycling center for corks, eyeglasses, cell phones, household batteries, shoes, and plastic bags
- An expansive health and wellness section including bulk organic herbs, plus bulk soap, bath salts, and body scrubs.
- No products with licensed cartoon characters on the package that target children.
- No bottled water is sold.
- Free car charging stations.
With the fall in the air, and sure to be carrots and ginger in my cart, I’ll be making my favorite Creamy Creamless Carrot Ginger Soup. This recipe was a hit with the guests at the cooking class I taught last may at Rancho La Puerta. (I’ll be back as a guest chef next June.)
Creamy Creamless Carrot Ginger Soup
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 leek, white part only, washed and roughly chopped.
- 2 shallots, peeled and chopped
- 1 pound carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 2- inch piece ginger, peeled, sliced into coins
- 4 cups water, enough water or vegetable stock to cover the vegetables by 2 inches
- 1/3 cup rolled oats
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger powder
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon curry powder, more to taste
- Garnish: pumpkin seeds, minced herbs, edible flowers
- Heat a 4-quart pot over medium heat. Add the oil and swirl to cover the bottom of the pot. Add the leeks and shallots and sauté for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the carrots and stir to coat. Add the ginger and enough water to cover the vegetables by 2 inches. Add the oats, salt, ginger powder, turmeric and cinnamon, and curry powder.
- Bring the soup to a low boil over medium heat. Cook, uncovered, at an active simmer, stirring occasionally until the carrots are soft.
- Puree the soup in batches in a blender with about 3/4 of the cooking liquid. Do not fill the blender more than 1/2 full and make sure the cover is on the blender tightly. Blend, starting on low and working up to high, until the soup is very smooth. Add the rest of the liquid to thin the soup if desired.
- Taste and adjust flavor, with additional spices. Thin as needed with water or nondairy milk.
- Garnish with thinly sliced chives or scallions; add chiffonade greens, black rice of other grains, or pumpkin seeds.
- Refrigerate soup in a covered container for up to 3 days, or freeze for a month.
Tip: the smaller you cut the carrots, the faster the soup will cook.