Overcast skies did not dampen the spirits of approximately 40 area residents and community officials gathered in a Gambrills parking lot Thursday for the grand opening of Roundz Gourmet Market, owned by Crofton resident chef Zachary Pope. The new business is located at 2299 Johns Hopkins Rd., at the end of the Hopkins Place shopping center.
At the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Anne Arundel County Councilman Jerry Walker (7th District) presented Pope with a proclamation signed by all seven council members offering congratulations and appreciation for his “commitment to better serve the citizens of Anne Arundel County.” A representative of County Executive John Leopold gave Pope a citation in appreciation of his contributions to the economic growth of the region.
But after the speeches were made and the ribbon was cut, it was all about the food. Roundz signature sandwiches and soups were on Thursday’s menu, along with the more exotic offerings, such as shallot and spinach-stuffed beef tenderloin and fresh diver scallops.
At the stainless steel counter perimeter of Roundz “open kitchen,” chef Rob Brown hosted a cooking demonstration on how to prepare diver scallops. Market customers asked questions and tasted the finished product. Nearby, samples of exotic grains and vegetables were on display for a “name that food” challenge.
“For me, it’s all about food awareness,” Pope said. “I want to engage the community in a conversation about what we eat as well as introduce new foods. Our company philosophy has always been ‘life, love, food’ and that’s what we’ll celebrate at Roundz Gourmet Market.”
Pope is the owner of Roundz Catering, an award-winning catering business serving the Maryland-Virginia-DC area for over seven years. Roundz Gourmet Market is extension of that business, housing the catering operation as well as offering gourmet meals for carry-out or eat-in dining, cooking classes, specialty food items and unique kitchenware.
“This market has been my dream for many years,” Pope said. “I am so thankful for the great turnout we had today and look forward to getting to know more folks in the community.”
Editor's note: Patch contributor Lea Hurt also does marketing and communications for Roundz.