Fresh Thyme Farmers Markets on Tuesday announced locations for its first 23 stores, the first of a planned 60 for the Phoenix-based start-up.
As reported previously in SN, Fresh Thyme will open its first store in Mt. Prospect, Ill., this spring, followed by an additional eight stores this year.
“Fresh Thyme Farmers Markets will be a completely new grocery format for the Midwest,” Chris Sherrell, president and CEO of Fresh Thyme, said in a statement. “We’ve taken the experience of an outdoor farmers market and combined it with the convenience of a full-service grocery store. Shoppers will enjoy value priced natural and organic items throughout our store, making healthy food more attainable to the masses.”
Sherrell is the former CEO of Sunflower Farmers Market. The heart of Fresh Thyme’s 28,000-square-foot stores will be a large produce department, including locally sourced and organic fruits and vegetables with value pricing, the company said. Additional features of the markets include:
• More than 400 bins of natural and organic bulk items and small batch locally roasted premium coffee beans.
• A butcher shop featuring all-natural handmade sausage made daily in store, offering over a dozen varieties.
• Specialty items such as gluten-free and dairy-free products.
• A full dairy section, which sources local Midwest items.
• Fresh Thyme Kitchen featuring healthy prepared salads and meals as well as a full salad bar, made-to-order sandwiches and a bakery featuring artisan breads.
• Healthy dry groceries and convenient, healthy frozen foods.
• Hops & Grapes department with an expansive selection of wine and local craft beers.
• More than 7,000 varieties of vitamins, supplements and natural body care products.
“We look forward to building longstanding community relationships and partnerships throughout the Midwest,” Sherrell said, “We’re grateful to have already received a very warm welcome and overwhelming enthusiasm from our communities.”
A full schedule of locations and opening dates were posted at Fresh Thyme’s website Tuesday.