Dawson’s Market, a local natural foods grocery store, located in Rockville, MD. As a nod to local community heritage, Dawson’s Market was named for the Dawson Family, one of most influential farming families in what is now Montgomery County.
Dawson’s Market Corporate Social Responsibility
Dawson’s Market engages the broader community engagement through in-store events, weekly farmers markets, large community events, and by providing fee-free space to community groups. In-store events like “Kid’s Cooking Class”, “ Jazz Brunch”, and “Meet the Locals” (local product tastings) provide opportunities for local residents to increase frequency of visits while developing a stronger sense of connection. Dawson’s Market revitalized a weekly farmers market by assuming logistical and promotional responsibilities of the the market. Three years in, the market is thriving and continues to attract new vendors and customers. Large store and community wide events like
“Spring Fest” celebrating Earth Day, Oktoberfest with traditional German food and beer, and Winter Festival engages and attracts both loyal customers while also creating new foot traffic. Actively participating in over 75 events annually, Dawson’s Market has become an established community gathering place and partner. Community groups like PTAs, the Chamber of Commerce board, networking groups, a chess club and a drawing club are provided free space enhancing community partnerships and brand recognition for the store.
Through numerous community partnerships, Dawson’s Market gives back to local community non-profits. The market hosts 5% Days, donating 5% of day’s gross sales to a local organization. Cheers for Charity, a monthly wine and food event, showcases product as attendees donate to local non-profit partners. As a field trip host, Dawson’s provides free field trips for local schools to learn about healthy eating. Product donations are provided to numerous community groups. Special needs students from nearby Montgomery College are also employed by Dawson’s Market in a unique partnership with Rock Terrace School, Dawson’s Market provides internships to special needs students and also tends the school’s garden and greenhouse in the summer. To bring this venture full-circle, Rock Terrace sells plants and herbs grown at the school at the weekly hosted Farmer’s Market.
At Dawson’s Market, by contributing deeply, frequently, and positively to the community, the store becomes more than a place where people come to buy healthy foods. The investment in the community increases brand recognition, and store loyalty, which ultimately leads to more profits and growth. The ecosystem of community engagement leading to profits & growth leading more community engagement attains Dawson’s Market’s goal of a sustainable, thriving community-focused business.