Hi.  I am the founder/owner of MOM’s Organic Market.

My colleagues, my wife, and some friends are a little nervous right now- they know I’m starting to blog and are worried that I’m going to say something bad.  I’ve been accused by those who love me (and those who don’t) of not having much of a “filter”.  I suppose they have a point.

I love relating to people (my favorite books are memoirs)- and the best way for me to do this is to be vulnerable and hope that others engage with me- even if in disagreement.  I love a good debate and exchange of ideas.

I believe that many of the world’s problems are caused more by silence than candor (Candor is one of MOM’s 4 Company Values).  I sometimes think of that scene in Driving Miss Daisy when Miss Daisy attends a speech by Martin Luther King (while she makes Hoke wait in the car) about not the harm done by the racist segregationists, but rather the harm done by the masses of people who sit silently on the sidelines, devoid of the courage to speak up.  Candor is a beautiful thing, so long as it’s done with respect and good intentions.

I believe that good things happen when people take off their masks, drop their guard, and be vulnerable (see video link), which is what I’ll be doing on this blog.  Please engage with me…


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26 Responses to Vulnerability

  1. Cindy says:

    Good to see this post. One mantra of mine: Thou shalt not sit idly by.
    I post this everywhere and I try to live by this. I get a gentle reminder of its intense meaning several times a year, especially on MLK Day. And here it is again.
    As a side note, I visited your Frederick store on Friday for my monthly taped-battery-haul that my church generates. How many pounds of batteries? Who knows what half a cart full weighs, but I am grateful that your store creates an avenue for this worthwhile mission. We’ve been collecting for a couple years now, in an effort to keep leaking, corrosive batteries from landfills. Thank you!

  2. Ed Miller says:

    Excellent name for your new blog, Scott. And thanks for the link to the Brene Brown TED talk. Another researcher of the significance of human connection is Nicholas Christakis at Harvard. Here’s a good article that he and his wife Erika wrote recently about the importance of play:

  3. Zelma says:

    Thank you for initiating the conversation on vulnerability. Nothing is by coincidence! Our society is so in need of this discussion. I viewed the Brene Brown segment and found that she is responding to the “inner” work that is required of all living in the human condition. I am in the initial stages of observing me. Sometimes, I like what I see and sometime I do not however this is a learning process that must continue.

    I love your stores and visit on a weekly basis. I would love for you to consider a DC location. Thanks!

  4. Renee' says:

    I cannot thank you enough Scott for sharing your passion! You are ny environmental hero!
    I share your story with so many and introduce so many people to your store/vision!

  5. Dan Bender says:

    Love your stores. Can’t wait to hear your candor.

  6. Scott says:

    “I am in the initial stages of observing me. Sometimes, I like what I see and sometime I do not however this is a learning process that must continue.”- Zelma

    Amen to that! What’s the saying- “An unexamined life isn’t a life worth living.”? To me, the challenge is being present and breaking out of the “trance”.

    We’d love to open in DC, btw- problem is finding the right location. We’re at the VERY early stages of negotiating for a space right now that wouldn’t open for 2-3 years, but that’s the best we’ve got going right now. Always on the lookout, though…

  7. Scott says:

    Ed- check out the MOM’s blog (link above on right) for Alyssa’s (MOM’s regional wellness manager) post on PlayWork. It beautifully recalls her childhood experience of playing in the woods. I will be blogging specifically on MOM’s alliance with The Alliance For Childhood sometime soon, btw. Great article on CNN (my wife had already sent it to me last week).

  8. Scott says:

    On vulnerability and MLK’s birthday- Dr. King paid the ultimate price for making himself vulnerable, yet millions of people benefited from him taking that chance. Here’s an article from Time, written in 1965, on that speech he gave about the “silent majority” back in 1965…,9171,839216,00.html

    “History will have to record the greatest tragedy of this period of social transistion was not the vitrolic words and other violent actions of the bad people, but the appalling silence and indifference of the good people. Our generation will have to repent not only the words and acts of the children of darkness, but also for the fears and apathy of the children of light. This hour represents a great opportunity for white persons of good will, if they will only speak the truth, and suffer, if necessary, for what they know is right.”

  9. Colleen says:

    Scott, are you actually fertilizing that bamboo?

  10. Christine says:

    Welcome to the wonderful world of blogging. I can’t wait to get our MOM’s in Merrifield!!!

  11. Respectful candidness is such a welcoming idea, I wish everyone would join in on the fun. And it would be a fun conversation to have with anyone, on any subject, if you could actually TALK to people without them falling to the disrespectful side of the table (yelling, getting hostile, yada yada).

    I teach respect, kindness and honesty in my home and in my childcare…I might just have to introduce Candor too! Thanks for this post 🙂

  12. Lia Mack says:

    “Candor is a beautiful thing, so long as it’s done with respect and good intentions.”

    I reposted this on my facebook page in the hopes that all those who read it will be inspired… So often I feel respect and good intentions are not included in most conversations certain people have with others. As though the only way to forward their given agenda is to do so with force and disrepect. I’ve always found it easy to agree to disagree so long as the person you’re conversing with gives out the same amount of respect as you are giving. Otherwise, I don’t usually continue talking with those people. How do you re-open a conversation – anything – with someone who seems to always assume the worst thus never has good intentions? Or should you?

    Wow…never thought a compost pile would bring about such deep thoughts!!!

    thanks for the post 😉

  13. David Belden says:

    Thanks for the frank and open blog. In November, I heard Patrick Lencionni address the same issue, and his book, Getting Naked, at a Vistage Chair conference. It was a great learning for all of us. The more business leaders with your attitude, the better the work environment becomes. Thanks.

    • Barbara says:


      I remember you when you worked in that “warehouse” store in Beltsville My husband and I were taken by your steady and confident demeanor. (We were, and still are, happy to call you our friend.) After having viewed Brene Brown’s talk, I think maybe what we recognized is that you had your own sense of “worthiness.” I know this “worthiness” is what helped you have the courage to take chances and create MOM’s.

      Also, Brown talked about vulnerability as means to joy and love. I inferred that it’s a player in changing our world as well; unfortunately, too often vulnerability is misunderstood as weakness, which is considered by some to be detestable trait. Well, we all know that fear is the real enemy…

      By the way, about the fight against complacency, have you checked out Media that Matters. Here’s the link:

      Hope you see you soon,

  14. Joy Harris says:

    I was surprised and saddened to read your attack on Mr. Salatin in the latest issue of Flavor magazine. Mr. Salatin attempts to open the reader’s eye to yet another issue where local producers are challenged in comparison to Big Ag, and you attack him and accuse him of making “rationalization[s].”

    I have been a customer of Mr. Salatin for years, and he is one of the most dedicated, inspirational, fair and honest person I have had the pleasure of meeting. I don’t know if your problem with him is that he sells directly to the consumer perhaps? If more and more farmers adopt his model, where would your store be?

    I really wish you could spend more of your time fighting the real fights instead of setting a bad example by turning on someone who has done so much for the local movement. He has opened my eyes to the challenges small farmers are facing, and I and so many others have become better local patrons because of it. I know I won’t be shopping at your establishment any time soon.

    Mrs. H

  15. Heather Ann says:

    Though you warn us of it, I look forward to your candor. Truly sincere candor is sorely missing in today’s world. I look forward to stopping by again soon.

    I don’t get to visit often, living in Southern Maryland, but I’ve been known to take special trips to VA just to visit your store. All the best.

  16. Scott – bring it on, so glad you are blogging.

    I am definitely not an idle man.

    I run a non-profit in the DC area where I am constantly touting your stores. They are the second best places to buy food (farmers markets being #1).

    Winter Markets for DC (scroll down a bit for MOM’s)

    I also blog about social issues and whatnot over at 1×, check it out and welcome to the blogosphere!

  17. John Tomlin says:

    Scott, “candor” is a word that isn’t heard much these days. Thanks for bringing it back. The concept is the correct one for anyone with the courage of their convictions. We organized a Box Turtle rescue project on the (formerly) wooded land across the road from our house, primarily by NOT being quiet and getting in the developer’s face and telling him that he better support it. He did. With a group of local volunteers and the able guidance of an HSUS turtle expert, we saved 63 from certain death.

    I’m looking forward to reading more. This is a great idea, just like your store.

  18. Karla says:

    What a gift of a TED talk. So kind of eff you, too ;).

    If you ever get some outer-space guy in a headlock, and his head starts throbbing and glowing different colors, don’t let go. That just means the headlock is working.
    –Jack Handey

    • Jozo says:

      If you’re in California, your frost date might fall BEFORE the color groups. I am wkriong on coming up with a system for folks like you. It may not roll out until fall, or at the latest next spring.

  19. Donna says:

    I have been looking for employment when my daughter told me that there was an “Organic” store opening up in Timonium called “MOM’s” and they are hiring. So I went on line to check out “MOM’s Organic Market” and I have to tell you I am very impressed to say the least. I filled out an application and I do hope to been a part of this team. What you have going on here is phenomenal!!!! I love the fact that you are so for coming back to the natural way of living. People need to be educated on how to get back to a healthier and energy efficient way of living and your mission is just what we needed. You go Scott!!!!

    • Scott says:

      Thanks for the kind words, Donna. Timonium store should be opening in late May. I hope your application process went OK. Feel free to say hi if you end up working at MOM’s…

      • Dvs says:

        Dana,Thanks for your comment. Sometimes this may hapepn for various reasons. It all checks out OK on our side. Can you give me a bit more information in case this hapepns again? Which web browser were you using? What error message if any did you get? Can you describe exactly what hapepned when you tried to download? Have you been able to successfully download ESN before? Can you download files OK from other sites? Are you using a relatively current version of Adobe Acrobat Reader? The answers to these questions can help me solve you problem.Blessings,Chuck Gianotti, editor of ESN

  20. Amanda Showlater says:

    Scott you rock and so does compost!
    After working in the grocery business for 20 years its great to to see the thoughts of real leader that is growing from the point of strength, courage,compassion and most of all what the world needs now is more people like you! Your growth can make people nervous, but always be true to yourself, no other way to live then to have compassion,be vulnerable,transparent and genuine.
    I would love to build a floral prorgram for your amazing company after 20 years doing this for greedy as***les in the dc metro area. it seems to be your the only company who gives a care about our future,children,world that we live in. Stay strong and true to yourself, with out belief and knowing we are connected to each other what is there but a road of keeping up with the Jones. Maybe I just lived in CA to long, but besides Bill and John Androncio of Andronicos Market you are the first company on the east coast that walks their talk.
    keep on ,take care

  21. Pingback: Authenticity, Vulnerability, and Joy | Seeking Joyful Simplicity

  22. Matt Hand says:

    Hi Scott!

    Have you heard about the Green Grand Prix winner this year? It was a team made up of teachers and students at a High School in West Philly. The car they built averaged over 100 MPG. They have out-engineered the entire auto industry by simply switching the purpose of the gas and electric motors in the hybrid-engine system. The team runs an electric motor as the main drive train with an efficient diesel engine used as a generator to charge the batteries. With that, they experience a significant boost in MPG and a performance consistent with gasoline engines. Here’s some links for you to check out if you’re interested. I’ve kept tabs on this story for about 4 years and in my opinion, it is the least reported Green story out there. <– The Team's Homepage <– Simon Hauger speech (he's the head teacher on the program)


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