Once a month, Yasmin Abadian, husband Jimmy McWhorter and their daughter Anna Irani arise at dawn, drive to 24th and G Street in D.C., don aprons, prepare and serve breakfast to the homeless who rely on Miriam’s Kitchen to provide them with a substantial breakfast and to counsel them on how to end their homelessness. These owners of The Market at River Falls in Potomac believe strongly in giving back to the community. “We have been blessed,” said Abadian, “and we feel a sense of responsibility and duty to help those in need.”
The couple has decided to involve their Market at River Falls in their commitment to give back by donating 25 percent of all sales for that day to a local non-profit. Therefore, a purchase at The Market at River Falls on the first day of each month will help to alleviate hunger in the metropolitan area, support nutritional education, ecological sustainability as well as small farmers and fishers. They will call this “Community First Day.”
“This month we have selected to support DC Greens, a nonprofit which brings together the D.C. school garden community and the D.C. farmers’ market collaborative to create a healthier food system for District children,” McWhorter said. “They are teaching kids healthier eating habits and helping middle school students start their own farmer’s markets by funding and facilitating the distribution of produce to the middle schools. DC Greens pulls together partnerships to provide nutritional education, food access and to help create food policies.”
“We will select a different non-profit each month. Since we are a local food-driven business, our focus will be on those whose mission is to fight hunger and to educate. The only exception to this focus is that from time to time we will be willing to support a legitimate cause that touches the family of one of The Market staff,” McWhorter said.
“We were trying to think of a way to make a difference,” said Abadian. “The support that we have received from the Potomac community, both emotionally and financially is a clear message to us that we need to begin to give back in an organized, structured and ongoing manner. Some of the non-profits we will support are Miriam’s Kitchen, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Future Harvest, DC Central Kitchen, Fresh Farm markets and Whole Kids foundation. Toward the end of every month, we will let our customers know who we are supporting so that together, we can make the first day of every month meaningful to someone in need.”
The couple is hoping that other local businesses will come on board and that the entire Potomac community will catch the spirit. They are planning to host a spokesperson from the non-profit organizations to explain to The Market’s customers exactly what they do and need.
Other new items and opportunities are coming to the market. In June, they will begin wine and craft beer tastings. July will bring more vegan alternatives, additional ready-made healthy salads, more organic foods and gluten free options. Abadian said, “We are also looking forward to the fall when we will start adding amazing raw vegan bowls, wraps and salads from Fruitive in D.C. We have also purchased a new truck and are expanding our catering business. We will deliver and plate our menu items to help the hostess with stress-free entertaining.”
“We have been so fortunate,” said McWhorter. “Our team is phenomenal and the Potomac community has warmly welcomed the re-opening of the Market. Every day since we became involved, we have become increasingly more aware of just what The Market means to those in 20854 and beyond. Customers come in daily and tell Andrew, Erika, Ronald, David, Junior and the others how appreciative they are that we are back. We are grateful that we are able to continually offer new items and concepts to our patrons — and pleased that we can give back so soon after the re-opening.”
The Market at River Falls is located at 10124 River Road. Its phone number is 301-765-8001 and it can be reached by email at email@RiverFalls.com. Store hours are 10 a.m. -7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Sunday.