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Fresh Thyme sets St. Louis debut

Fresh Thyme Farmers Market has set a Jan. 14 opening date for its Fairview Heights, Ill., store — the retailer’s first in the St. Louis metro market.

The store will the be the first of more than 10 new openings set by Fresh Thyme in 2015, the company said. The Chicago-based natural foods retailer opened its first store in April and today operates 10 stores in the Midwest. Officials said they planned as many as 60 new stores in five years.


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“As a new member of the Fairview Heights community, we want to introduce ourselves, have some fun and provide an enjoyable atmosphere where people can experience who we are and what we offer,” Chris Sherrell, CEO of Fresh Thyme, said in a statement. “Our mission is to improve the way our communities eat by combining the spirit of a weekend farmers market and the convenience of a neighborhood store, with the nutritious offerings of a natural food marketplace.”

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Fresh Thyme sets St. Louis debut

Fresh Thyme Farmers Market has set a Jan. 14 opening date for its Fairview Heights, Ill., store — the retailer’s first in the St. Louis metro market.

The store will the be the first of more than 10 new openings set by Fresh Thyme in 2015, the company said. The Chicago-based natural foods retailer opened its first store in April and today operates 10 stores in the Midwest. Officials said they planned as many as 60 new stores in five years.


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“As a new member of the Fairview Heights community, we want to introduce ourselves, have some fun and provide an enjoyable atmosphere where people can experience who we are and what we offer,” Chris Sherrell, CEO of Fresh Thyme, said in a statement. “Our mission is to improve the way our communities eat by combining the spirit of a weekend farmers market and the convenience of a neighborhood store, with the nutritious offerings of a natural food marketplace.”

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Chicago shoppers turn out for Fresh Thyme debut

The first location of the natural and organic startup Fresh Thyme Farmers Market opened its doors in Mount Prospect, Ill., on April 23. The Phoenix-based chain, founded by veterans of Sunflower Farmers Market, intends to open up to 60 locations throughout the Midwest in the coming five years. In Mount Prospect, hundreds of shoppers gathered outside for the early morning opening. CEO Chris Sherrill, who served the same role at Sunflower until that chain merged with Sprouts Farmers Market, was …

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Gallery: Thyme has come today

The first location of the natural and organic startup Fresh Thyme Farmers Market opened its doors in Mount Prospect, Ill., on April 23.

The Phoenix-based chain, founded by veterans of Sunflower Farmers Market, intends to open up to 60 locations throughout the Midwest in the coming five years.

Fresh Thyme, whose investors include the superstore chain Meijer, runs a store similar to Sunflower and Sprouts Farmers Market, focusing on a large selection and low prices on produce, along with a natural meat department, healthy deli foods to go, bakery goods, 400 bulk food bins, natural and organic groceries, dairy and frozen, as well as vitamins and body care products. The store has adopted the tagline “Healthy Food. Healthy Values.”

Text and captions by Jon Springer
Photos courtesy Fresh Thyme Farmers Market

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Fresh Thyme sets debut opening date

Fresh Thyme Farmers Market said Friday that its first store is scheduled to open April 23 in Mount Prospect, Ill.


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The company, which has plans to open some 60 stores in the Midwest over the coming five years, had initially planned to open its initial location in February. 

“The entire Fresh Thyme team welcomes community residents to come out and experience what the market has to offer,” CEO Chris Sherrell said in a statement. “We are eager to meet our new neighbors and hope to see them on this exciting day.”

The grand opening event will feature food samplings and giveaways including a grocery bag giveaway to the first 200 customers. The celebration will continue throughout the week with events for kids including face painting, balloon animals, and performances. Fresh Thyme said it was still seeking some employees for the store, which will employ around 100.

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Fresh Thyme announces 23 stores in aggressive Midwest rollout

TGF-FruitImageFresh Thyme Farmers Markets, a new specialty grocer featuring healthy and organic value-priced offerings, announced the Midwest chain will open over 60 new stores and create approximately 5,000 new jobs throughout the Midwest over the next five years.

The company’s first market will open in Mt. Prospect, IL, this spring, followed by eight more grand openings throughout the remainder of this year.

“Fresh Thyme Farmers Markets will be a completely new grocery format for the Midwest,” Chris Sherrell, president and chief executive officer of Fresh Thyme Farmers Markets, said in a press release. “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.

“Our markets answer the Midwest’s demand for fresh, healthy, natural and organic food, all at great prices, in a convenient and inviting format,” Sherrell said. “We’re excited to bring the farmers market concept to the area and create 5,000 new jobs in the next five years.”

The heart of Fresh Thyme Farmers Markets’ 28,000-square-foot stores will be bountiful produce, including locally sourced and organic fruits and vegetables all at incredible values. Additional features of the markets include more than 400 bins of natural and organic bulk items and the Fresh Thyme Kitchen featuring healthy prepared salads and meals as well as a full salad bar.

“We look forward to building longstanding community relationships and partnershipsthroughout the Midwest,” Sherrell said, “We’re grateful to have already received a very warm welcome and overwhelming enthusiasm from our communities.”

Fresh Thyme Farmers Markets announced the dates and locations of 23 of the 60 locations to open in the Midwest.

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Fresh Thyme sets opening schedule

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.


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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.

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Fresh Thyme Sets Midwest Rollout

PHOENIX — Fresh Thyme Farmers Markets, a new retail banner created by veterans of the Sunflower and Henry’s chains, plans to open 47 stores in the Midwest over the next six years, beginning with a site in Mt. Pleasant, Ill., opening early next year.


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The chain is led by Chris Sherrell, who most recently was president and chief executive of Sunflower Farmers Markets, along with Jim McCloskey, Sunflower’s former chief financial officer, and Brandon Bagley, a veteran of Henry’s, Whole Foods, Wild Oats and Smith’s Food & Drug, who will serve as executive vice president of sales, merchandising and marketing for Fresh Thyme.

Several sources told SN the venture has financial backing from Meijer, the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based superstore operator, although Fresh Thyme officials declined to elaborate. Meijer officials did not respond to requests from SN for comment.

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According to literature distributed to product vendors at the recent Natural Products Expo East in Baltimore, Fresh Thyme intends to operate a “farmers market” style store capitalizing on trends toward healthy eating and “transitional” shoppers moving to the natural food channel. Stores will feature an extensive fresh produce department in the middle of the store and service seafood, meat, bakery, deli and prepared-food departments, in addition to bulk foods, natural and organic groceries, vitamins and supplements, and beer and wine.

A spokeswoman for the chain told SN that while its headquarters is currently in Phoenix, the chain intends to establish offices in the Midwest.

Its growth plans call for eight stores in 2014, nine new stores in 2015 and 10 new stores in each year from 2016 to 2018, in 12 Midwest states (Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee).

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