HOWARD PARK—It has been 15 years since grocery shoppers on Liberty Heights Avenue could pick up a fresh sweet potato pie, a pound of Jersey tomatoes or meat and produce that comply with Islamic law—all under one roof .
But with the July 31 opening of ShopRite’s sparking new store at 4601 Liberty Heights Ave., shoppers can do all that, and more.
A Halal section, a bakery and even a health clinic are part of the 68,000-square foot supermarket that ends the food desert that has existed in this part of Northwest Baltimore since Super Pride shut down in 1999.
“We have been waiting for this market for a long time and it’s desperately needed,” said Shakriah Mohammed, who lives just a few blocks away.
Evaughn Richardson and grandsons Patrick and Payton were waiting, too, armed with the week’s grocery list.
They were among those who stood in a line that snaked outside the sparkling new ShopRite front while Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown and other local officials finished up a 90-minute opening ceremony.
Among the opening day specials were 18-roll packs of bathroom tissue, 10 cans of white meat tuna for $10 and freshly baked apple pie for $1.99.
Mohammed said she was especially eager to sample the Halal section. “Halal means that the animal has been slaughtered in a peaceful state and prayed over in a special way. It means a lot to us in the Muslim community to have this offered so close to home,” said Mohammed.
Andrew Klein, owner and operator of ShopRite, said frozen Halal-compliant sandwiches are being offered and there is a full Halal cutting room to produce fresh beef, turkey and poultry. “There’s no pork and it is in a separate room so nothing can get cross-contaminated there,” Klein said