"We have been promised for months and months a 20,000-square-foot grocer in that space," Clarke said.

But Nash said MOM's niche is not as a full-service grocery store.

"There's one every half mile," he said. "What we would bring is something unique."

Nash questioned Clarke's focus on seniors in the area.

"Are you going to fight for one group of people at the expense of everybody else?" he asked. "There is a greater community."

People of all ages were seen shopping in the Timonium store last Friday afternoon.

"It's good. It's a little expensive," said Bruce Harrison, managing partner in Shawe Rosenthal, a Baltimore law firm.

"It's great. I try not to shop anywhere else," said Donna West, 65, a retired doll and toy show promoter. "They'll order anything for you if they don't have it. They're nice to deal with all the way around."

"We love it," said interior designer Danielle Marsalek, shopping with her son, Luke, 5. "They have a variety of really hard to find foods that are organic and gluten free that you can't even find in Wegmans. Their produce section is one of the better ones in the area and the kids like the samples."

The family mainly shops at two stores, MOM's and Wegmans, which Luke also likes. "He calls it Dad's," Marsalek said.