Last Wednesday, BaltimoreJewishLife.com received a private tour of the new Seven Mile Market, slated to open in just a few weeks. The excitement is mounting in Baltimore, as we look forward to truly enhancing our shopping experience while continuing to benefit from the warm atmosphere and customer care that are hallmarks of Mr. Herschel Boehm, owner of Seven Mile Market, and his devoted staff.Seeing this beautiful state of the art store is certainly a sign of Baltimore’s growth as a leading Jewish community. The tour was led by Mr. Boehm and Mr. Eli Schlossberg, local askan and businessman involved in the food industry. Mr. Schlossberg has been a customer of the Boehm family for over fifty years, when the family owned their first grocery store in Lower Park Heights and has been a fan of Mrs. Boehm’s kugel and vegetable soup ever since.
Mr. Schlossberg and Mr. Boehm pointed out the many new amenities of the store, including a florist, cafe, salad bar, and pharmacy. Many of the shelves are already stocked with fresh inventory, waiting for opening day. Just about everything in the store will be bigger and better – there will be wider aisles, more checkout lanes, and an expanded bakery section, run by our old faithful Goldman’s Bakery.
More and larger grocery aisles means that store will be able to offer a much wider selection of products, and more of any given product can be on the shelf at one time. The management also greatly increased their line of health and beauty aids, cleaning supplies, (including a one dollar aisle), stationery, hardware, natural foods, and institutional size items, such as large containers of olive oil and canned vegetables. Within several weeks after opening, additional enhancements are planned, such as a sushi bar and a bulk food section where consumers can purchase items such as beans and rice in bulk.
Customer satisfaction is truly at the top of everyone’s mind, and much of the enhancements were made with the goal of providing the best possible shopping experience. For instance, registers will be equipped with state-of-the-art systems, “not because I care about the latest technology, but because I want to do anything we can to expedite things for the customer,” explains Mr. Boehm.
At 55,000 square feet, plus an additional 4,000 foot storage facility, many have been calling the new store “the largest kosher supermarket in the country,” Mr. Boehm is quick to disclaim that. “I don’t know if I am the largest, and I don’t really want to be known as the largest. I want to be known as a place where the local customer can come and have a good experience.”
In addition, Mr. Boehm is not calling the store a “kosher supermarket.” There are some items in the store, such as certain medications and pet food, which they will now be selling, that are not specifically kosher, and customers will be alerted to use their own discretion when buying certain products.
While many ideas were suggested for the new store, and Mr. Boehm calls them “all good ideas”, many were not able to be implemented, such as a Minchah minyan, babysitting, valet parking, and a drive through deli for those who want to pick up supper on their way to carpool!
Mr. Boehm is already planning for Pesach, and has slated a few aisles which he can clear out easily without disrupting the rest of the store – and still probably provide the consumer with double the Pesach shopping space that was offered previously!
Mr. Schlossberg thanked the Boehms for their continuous generosity and contributions to Ahavas Yisrael, and concluded, “I wish Seven Mile Market and all their staff brachah v’hatzlachah, and may this move be a benefit for the entire community that Seven Mile Market has served well for so many years.”
Mr. Boehm was quick to add, “People don’t realize how much work was involved in this project, and how long it took for it to evolve. I must give special thanks to my brother-in-law, Simcha Retter, his son Nochum, my son Moishie, and my store manager, Leonard, among others, for all of their hard work.” Mr. Boehm also acknowledged Safeway – especially Lisa Levine – for being extremely helpful with explaining logistics of the facility, such as the working of the refrigeration and heating systems.
This new development brings back many memories for Baltimore – memories of how Mr. and Mrs. Jack Boehm, and Mr. and Mrs. Leopold Friedman, ran groceries stores in lower Park Heights close to sixty years ago. Herschel Boehm started his career helping his parents bag groceries in the store, and tasting his mother’s legendary potato kugel and vegetable soup – items which are still made today in Seven Mile Market.
When Mr. and Mrs. Jack Boehm arrived in Baltimore after having survived the Holocaust and opened up a family grocery store in 1953, they had absolutely no inkling that it would ever grow into something of this size. “I am very proud of my son that he had the foresight to open a big supermarket, — first the one he has now, and then this new one,” says Mr. Jack Boehm. “I think Baltimore deserves it; it is a big plus for the community to have a store like that. This was a very big expense for him, and with siyata diShmaya, I hope he will be matzliach.”
As of Sunday, November 7, Seven Mile Market has announced that ‘barring major hiccups’ , they are planning to open in their new location on Tuesday, November 16, bshaah tovah u’mutzlachas, at their new opening time, 7:30 am. However, in the meantime, since some of the existing equipment will need to be moved, there will be an interruption in several departments. The hot foods department will close at end of the business day on Monday, November 8. The other full service departments (meat, deli, fish and appetizing) will close at the end of the business day on Friday, November 12. The produce department will remain open. On Sunday, November 14 and Monday, November 15, the store will remain open at the current location, but due to the pending move, certain items may be out of stock.