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Grocer specializing in international food breaks into Baltimore market

Global Food, a Virginia-based grocer specializing in international food, is expanding into the Baltimore-area with a store in Woodlawn.

The Sterling, Virginia-based regional chain plans to open a store this fall in Meadows Shopping Center at Security Boulevard and Woodlawn Drive in Baltimore County. Supermax Enterprises, the owner of the Global Food stores, signed a lease for more than 36,000 square feet, said center owner Atlantic Realty Cos.

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Global Food sells both American and international items, specializing in Asian, Indian, Latin, Middle Eastern and European food.

The grocer selected the Woodlawn location to launch its Baltimore-area expansion because of its visibility from Interstate 695 and proximity to a diverse population, said Michelle Lim, Supermax Enterprises’ human resources manager.

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The family-owned regional chain has six stores, including four in Virginia and two in Maryland’s Washington suburbs, in Silver Spring and Oxen Hill. In Northern Virginia, it runs stores in Sterling, Alexandria, Manassas and Woodbridge, and a distribution center in Sterling.

The company is looking to hire employees from the Woodlawn community for full-time and part-time jobs.

In the highly competitive and over-stored Baltimore food retail market, Global Food will face direct competition from Asian supermarket chains such as H-Mart, a Korean-American supermarket chain based in Lyndhurst, New Jersey, said Jeremy Diamond, director of Baltimore-based Diamond Marketing Group and an expert on Baltimore-area grocery industry.

“It’s a highly competitive landscape around here and in the mid-Atlantic,” Diamond said. “I hope they...don’t expand too fast in the Baltimore area.”

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But he added the prime site in Woodlawn gets the chain’s expansion off to a good start.

“It’s always good to see a family-owned chain, which these days is becoming more rare,” he said.

In the Meadows center, Global Food will fill a former PriceRite supermarket space and join tenants such as dd’s Discounts, Family Dollar and Walgreens.

The center was renovated last year, with upgraded facades, lighting and landscaping. It draws customers from the more than 20,000 people who work nearby, including at the headquarters of the Social Security Administration.

“Grocery stores are typically the highest traffic generators for shopping centers and, in Global Food, we have attracted a compelling and successful concept to Baltimore County,” said David A. Ross, Atlantic Realty’s president.

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