Whole Foods opens for first time in Prince George’s Co.

WASHINGTON — Elected leaders call the first Whole Foods in Prince George’s County, Maryland, a great sign of economic development, but many shoppers are just happy to have new options.

“I like healthy foods, and we don’t really have too many good healthy food options in the neighborhood,” said University of Maryland student Candace Hood-Bey. “College students — we have options now, and it’s close: We don’t have to travel really far.”

“We’ve been wanting something like this forever,” said Eva Brent of Bowie, Maryland. “This is marvelous.”

Elected leaders say the new store is one more sign that Prince George’s is evolving past being a simple bedroom community that people leave for work and to spend money.

“It’s more than just a grocery store; it’s what it symbolizes in terms of our progress and the steps forward that we’re taking,” said Prince George’s County Council member Mel Franklin.

The new Whole Foods Market in Riverdale Park is at 6612 Baltimore Ave. (U.S. 1). (WTOP/Kristi King)
The new Whole Foods Market in Riverdale Park is at 6612 Baltimore Ave. (U.S. 1), north of Md. 410 and south of the University of Maryland-College Park. (WTOP/Kristi King)

"I am so happy to see this come to fruition," said Prince George's County Councilwoman Karen R. Toles, shown getting her picture taken with Dennis Williams, of Capitol Heights. "This is the type of project and amenities we like to see in our beautiful Prince George's County." (WTOP/Kristi King)
“I am so happy to see this come to fruition,” said Prince George’s County Councilwoman Karen R. Toles, shown getting her picture taken with Dennis Williams, of Capitol Heights. “This is the type of project and amenities we like to see in our beautiful Prince George’s County.” (WTOP/Kristi King)

Self-serve fresh pasta is among the choices at Whole Foods Market in Riverdale, Md. (WTOP/Kristi King)
Self-serve fresh pasta is among the choices at Whole Foods Market in Riverdale, Md. (WTOP/Kristi King)

On Sunday's soft opening, County Executive Rushern Baker meets Timothy Alexander, the Whole Foods Riverdale Pizza Guy. (Courtesy Mike Yourishin)
On Sunday, County Executive Rushern Baker meets Timothy Alexander, the Whole Foods Riverdale Pizza Guy. (Courtesy Mike Yourishin)

“I like healthy foods … so to have this Whole Foods here, I think, is a really good addition,” Candace Hood-Bey said. A junior at the University of Maryland studying public policy and African American studies, Hood-Bey’s family lives in Capitol Heights. (WTOP/Kristi King)

"These are our cold pressed juices on tap," said Rachael Dean Wilson of Whole Foods. "You can get a full glass of one, sample a few, mix them together and see which ones you like best." Juice selections may vary by season. (WTOP/Kristi King)
“These are our cold pressed juices on tap,” said Rachael Dean Wilson of Whole Foods. “You can get a full glass of one, sample a few, mix them together and see which ones you like best.” Juice selections may vary by season. (WTOP/Kristi King)

Whole Foods Riverdale Pizza Guy Timothy Alexander. (Courtesy Mike Yourishin)
Whole Foods Riverdale Pizza Guy Timothy Alexander. (Courtesy Mike Yourishin)

Kalsang Dorjee, of Rockville, sells local fish. (WTOP/Kristi King)

Dennis Williams, of Capitol Heights, shops for smoked fish. (WTOP/Kristi King)
Dennis Williams, of Capitol Heights, serves Councilwoman Toles as she shops for smoked fish. (WTOP/Kristi King)

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The new Whole Foods Market in Riverdale Park is at 6612 Baltimore Ave. (U.S. 1). (WTOP/Kristi King)
"I am so happy to see this come to fruition," said Prince George's County Councilwoman Karen R. Toles, shown getting her picture taken with Dennis Williams, of Capitol Heights. "This is the type of project and amenities we like to see in our beautiful Prince George's County." (WTOP/Kristi King)
Self-serve fresh pasta is among the choices at Whole Foods Market in Riverdale, Md. (WTOP/Kristi King)
On Sunday's soft opening, County Executive Rushern Baker meets Timothy Alexander, the Whole Foods Riverdale Pizza Guy. (Courtesy Mike Yourishin)
"These are our cold pressed juices on tap," said Rachael Dean Wilson of Whole Foods. "You can get a full glass of one, sample a few, mix them together and see which ones you like best." Juice selections may vary by season. (WTOP/Kristi King)
Whole Foods Riverdale Pizza Guy Timothy Alexander. (Courtesy Mike Yourishin)
Dennis Williams, of Capitol Heights, shops for smoked fish. (WTOP/Kristi King)

Kate Blattner, of Riverdale Park, is impressed with the grocery store, which is part of a development that soon will include a hotel, retail, restaurants and residences.

“It’s crazy that this is finally here and in P.G. County. All this building is happening. I never would have thought this when I moved here 10 years ago,” Blattner said.

Elected leaders believe it’s evidence that the county is moving forward as an economic destination.

“We have 8 billion to 9 billion dollars in economic development that’s on the way to the county,” Franklin said. “This Whole Foods project was a big signal that helped with that momentum.”

Other recent successes and ones in the pipeline for Prince George’s include MGM National Harbor, a new regional medical center and efforts to get the new FBI Headquarters when it moves out of D.C.

Kristi King

Kristi King is a veteran reporter who has been working in the WTOP newsroom since 1990. She covers everything from breaking news to consumer concerns and the latest medical developments.

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