By Jillian Amodio
The holidays are a time of thankfulness, joy, and giving back. Shady Side resident and owner of Renno’s Market, Mohan Grover has been giving back and spreading joy for years around the holidays. Sometimes referred to as the “unofficial mayor of Shady Side,” Grover is a bright presence, not only in the lives of the customers who frequent his store but also in the community at large.
Grover has owned Renno’s Market for the past 46 years. It is a family operation lovingly run by him, his wife, daughters and a few dedicated and loyal staff like their butcher Cordell Salisbury, who has been with the store even longer than Grover himself.
In addition to providing market staples to area residents, Grover finds great joy in feeding community helpers at local police precincts and fire departments during the holiday season. Every Thanksgiving, Grover, with the help of members of Franklin United Methodist Church provides between 40 and 50 individually prepared meals to staff members of the Southern District of the Anne Arundel County Police Department as well as community members who may not otherwise have a Thanksgiving meal to enjoy. On Thanksgiving Day church volunteers cook and package the meals which Grover then delivers. One community member has even donated 20 turkeys toward the effort. With the help of Wagon Wheel Restaurant in Churchton, Grover also delivers full Thanksgiving dinners complete with a turkey and sides to six different area fire stations on Thanksgiving Day.
It’s a special tradition for Grover, who has been delivering these meals, with help from volunteers, for at least the past 15 years. When asked what inspired him to begin doing this, he said “They work hard serving us even on the holidays. I just want them to be fed and feel appreciated.”
Giving back and staying involved in the community isn’t just for the holidays. Grover stays connected to the community year-round, helping out with the annual Fourth of July parade, participating in National Night Out, and raising funds and awareness for the American Cancer Society’s through the Real Men Wear Pink campaign. Grover joined the cancer prevention and awareness efforts because he says he understands the devastation that a cancer diagnosis can bring a family; he has lost a great-niece and a brother to cancer. His campaign is currently selling raffle tickets to win a vehicle from MileOne or a cash prize.
Grover says he remains involved because “the community supports me through my business. It is only right that I support them, too. As my good friend said during our ceremonial dinner last October, ‘I wish I could do more.’ There is never an end to the generosity we are able to offer. What I contribute to the community is not an individual effort, it is a combined effort with my fellow citizens. Without their support, I wouldn’t be able to do what I do. I’m just a messenger. I can’t take all the credit. I have an entire community I’m working in partnership with that supports my efforts.”