BIZ BUZZ • BY ED LEVY
I know that as a reviewer I’m supposed to be objective, but with Snider’s I can’t help it. I love this place! I got confirmation of how much recently when my annual credit card statement showed that I had spent more at Snider’s in 2011 than at any other store.
What’s so great about Snider’s? It’s friendly, the prices are competitive, and there’s always something new and interesting to try. They have a great deli (with my personal favorites of Alpine Lace Swiss cheese, chopped liver, and cow’s tongue), fresh baked goods (including excellent bagels and pastries), and nice produce, and are one of the few Montgomery County grocery stores ‘grandfathered in’ to be allowed to sell beer and wine. They also sell great party platters made up of the good things mentioned above (not the beer and wine!).
What else is great about Snider’s? It’s big enough to have what you’re looking for, and small enough that no one will ever tell you that what you’re looking for is in Aisle 99Z, a ten minute walk from where you’re standing. Also, I’ve been able to check out in less than five minutes every time I visit, no matter how crowded the store is.
Snider’s is slightly hidden away on Seminary Road, just off Georgia Avenue and just below the Beltway. I lived about three miles away for ten years before I even knew they were there. There’s a parking lot out front where you can find a space at all but the busiest times, and also a larger lot across the street where store employees will bring and load your groceries for no extra charge.
Owner Dave Snider’s parents, Lillian and Louis, were Ukrainian immigrants who opened the first Snider’s grocery store in 1922 on Georgia Avenue near Missouri Avenue in DC’s Brightwood neighborhood. Their store was strategically located near what was then the end of the streetcar line. Ironically, their first store was across from what is now the site of a planned Wal-Mart, a company whose entry into the grocery business is providing a challenge to many existing retailers. Mr. Snider says that he continues to follow his parents’ philosophy of providing good quality and competitive prices.
Snider’s moved to the corner of Georgia and Seminary in Silver Spring in 1946, and built their current store down the block in 1961. Their grand opening ad reproduced below featured sale prices that Silver Spring hasn’t seen in many years.
Many of the staff, like many of the customers, have been with Snider’s for a long time. The store’s General Manager has been working at Snider’s for 35 years, and the Grocery Manager has been there 25 years. Terry Sweet, one of the store’s other managers, is an 11 year veteran.
Sweet attributes the store’s success to customer service, friendly staff, good prices, and quick check-out. He also tries to understand and provide exactly what the customers want. Snider’s often can make special buys of items nearing their expiration dates, which they can sell at very low prices on the bargain shelves just inside the store’s entrance.
Sweet says the grocery market is getting more competitive with several new entrants, but he is confident that Snider’s has the right people and the right customer-based model to continue to succeed in the years to come.
Snider’s Super Market
1936 Seminary Road
Silver Spring MD 20910
Monday – Friday: 8am – 9pm
Saturday: 7am – 7pm
Sunday: 8am – 6pm