RIVERDALE PARK STATION

Officials hope Prince George's first Whole Foods attracts more business

Whole Foodsv Moritz

NBC4, Tracee Wilkins and Madeline Overturf

In Prince George’s County, a new grocery store signifies a fresh start.

A Whole Foods is currently being built in Riverdale Park, the first in the county. The store’s presence is particularly meaningful, as it will bring healthy options to a county officially recognized as a “food desert” by the USDA.

But to some residents, the high-end supermarket provides more than just an opportunity to eat better; it paves the way for more investment in a largely forgotten county.

“If you would have asked me five years ago if I thought a Whole Foods would come to this area, I would’ve told you that you were crazy,” said local business owner Jimmy Spiropoulos. But now, “We’ve proven that things like this can be done in this town and in this county.”

Spiropoulos and his family own a craft beer and wine shop located directly behind the Whole Foods site. His boutique-like business opened a little more than year ago.

County officials believe Whole Foods’ presence will let small shops flourish and simultaneously entice other big businesses to break ground. According to Spiropoulos, Riverdale Park’s success shows that this food desert is transforming into a land of plenty.

“We’ve become a destination [that] we hoped to be.”