New York-based kosher grocer Seasons is preparing to open its first store outside of its home state.
Contractors are at work demolishing the interior of the building at 1628 Reisterstown Road in Pikesville, the former site of an Office Depot. Seasons officials have not said when the store will open. It will join four others operating under the Seasons brand in New York.
“We have started the demolition process and although we have a date in mind, you can never know what can happen during the construction process,” Zachary Richards, Seasons general manager in Baltimore, said via email. He said those interested in updates can visit Seasons of Maryland on Facebook and sign up for its mailing list.
In a previous interview, Seasons’ owner Mayer Gold said he hoped to open in late 2014 or early 2015, but the store was looking to open in a different property at the time. Seasons was first looking at The Fields of Pikesville building, which was not large enough for its needs. The company then entered a contract to purchase the building at 401 Reisterstown Road, which once housed Danielle’s Bluecrest Caterers.
The future home of Seasons, just south of Pomona Square on Reisterstown Road, will have a store area of about 15,000 square feet. Richards said its departments will include produce, bakery, sushi, fish, meat/butcher, floral, deli/appetizers and grocery. There will also be shop-from-home and delivery options.
Seasons was attracted to Baltimore because of its growing community, Richards said.
Although Gold previously said Seasons was also looking into opening a store in Lakewood,
N.J., Richards said Baltimore was the current focus. Gold could not be reached for comment.
Baltimore County Councilwoman Vicki Almond, who represents the area where the store will be, said she’s heard “they’re not excited” at Seven Mile Market, the area’s only longtime kosher grocery store but hopes there will room for both.
“I do think it’s going to be different, and honestly, I never see anything wrong with a little competition,” she said.
Managers at Seven Mile Market did not return phone calls requesting comment.
Almond said that because there is a second floor for storage at the store, it may mean — on paper — that Seasons needs more parking. But because the store is in Pikesville’s Commercial Revitalization District, an exception could likely be made if necessary at the county level. She said she believes the store has enough parking for its needs.
Several area residents agree with Almond that some competition can’t hurt.
“I think they [Seven Mile] kind of have a monopoly in town, and this will cause them to work on keeping their customers instead of just expecting their customers to stay,” Pikesville resident Chana Friedman said.
Chana Schnur said it only makes sense as the community grows that another kosher grocer opens. She’s hoping Seasons will bring more “exotic” foods the area doesn’t have access to right now and more upscale takeout options.
“I think the community will definitely benefit from it,” she said.
Donna Wach, who has been to Seasons stores in New York, thinks the community will be able to sustain both stores. She shops at a variety of grocers, including Seven Mile Market, which she plans to continue to patronize after Seasons opens.
“There’s a synagogue every other block. Why can’t we have two kosher markets?” she asked.
Seasons officials also are hoping Baltimore can be a two-kosher grocer town.
“Seasons has its own style, brand, mission, and our greatest wish is that both stores should be successful,” Richards said.