Specialty Food Magazine

MAR 2012

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

Issue link: https://www.e-digitaleditions.com/i/55461

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Page 29 of 63

PROFILE Milk & Honey Market This year-old Baltimore grocery and café has found success thanks to an ideal mix of customers and a clear-cut mission: to support local, sustainable and high-quality foods. BY EVA MESZAROS W hen deciding which products should fill the shelves and display cases at the petite Milk & Honey Market in Baltimore's Mt. Vernon neighborhood, founder Dana Valery sees herself as the model customer. "This is a place I would want to shop," says the former yoga instructor and mother of three. The specialty market and café, now in its second year of business, was developed with clear goals in mind. Valery had taken an interest in farmers markets and artisanal products for the dual benefit of nutrition and quality, but she found that some prod- ucts weren't readily available and the infre- quent markets were swarmed. Seeing a void in the specialty goods market, she has since filled it with a vast selection of gourmet packaged, fresh and prepared foods that she loves. A steady flow of like-minded locals proves Milk & Honey Market is a much- appreciated addition to the neighborhood. From Concept to Market Valery's budding interest in local, sustainable foods stirred the idea for a market tailored toward her own favorite products. From there, the pieces began to fall into place. Her husband, Ernst, a developer, began working on a building at 816 Cathedral St. in the Mt. Vernon neighborhood, with a store- front that had been previously inhabited by a decades-old drugstore. Additionally, the couple's close friends in Pennsylvania had opened their own artisanal, locally focused specialty food shop in West Philadelphia a year earlier to much success. "We really liked the concept of their store," Valery says of the Philadelphia market. "We thought we could do some- thing similar down here but more for our exact neighborhood." After seeing the storefront in Mt. Vernon, Valery was ready to act. The couple turned to those retailer friends—husband-and-wife team Mauro Daigle and Annie Baum-Stein—for consultation. Ultimately, the new store would have an array of products similar to the quality and features of those in the Philadelphia grocery store, but Baltimore's space would MARCH 2012 27 PHOTOS: DANA VALERY

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