GRAND RAPIDS, MI — If you combined Trader Joe's and Whole Foods, the result would be something that resembles a Fresh Thyme Farmers Market.“The concept behind Fresh Thyme is reaching out and bringing the natural organic lifestyle to the masses, and not making it this huge national chain that is really intimidating to shop at and really expensive,” said Sherrell, who spoke to MLive and The Grand Rapids Press earlier this year.With a major investment from Meijer Inc., Fresh Thyme stores are starting to populate Midwest communities.The privately owned Midwest supercenter chain’s major stake in the start up hasn’t stopped Fresh Thyme from announcing plans last week to build a store in Meijer headquarter's backyard.Grocery giant SpartanNash, also headquartered in the Grand Rapids area, will likely feel the competition as well.Fresh Thyme's first Grand Rapids' location will go up in a development that will replace former Michigan Athletic Club, at 2500 Burton St.Fresh Thyme is new, but the retailer's CEO is a veteran in the growing natural foods grocery industry.Sherell started Fresh Thyme in 2012, and debuted the chain in the Chicago suburb of Mount Prospect in April.Sherrell describes Fresh Thyme as a full-service grocery store with an assortment of national and organic products, with a focus on the perishable side of the business.• More than 400 bins of natural and organic bulk items and small batches of locally roasted premium coffee beans.Plans calls for opening stores in Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota and Missouri over the next two years.His connections with the company’s leadership paved the way for the larger Walker-based retailer to invest in his concept of a Midwest organics chain.They are probably shopping at their primary grocery store like a Meijer, and they are sharing that experience with a Fresh Thyme.”.Fresh Thyme was designed to be a full-service grocery store, but Sherrell expects it will likely be one of several stops for an average shopper. .

Fresh Thyme Founder and CEO Chris Sherrell Departing

“I am extremely proud of the company I was able to build, as well as our mission of bringing fresh and healthy food at an amazing value to dozens of communities,” Sherrell said in a prepared statement.Prior to joining Meijer in 2009, Melville held a variety of senior leadership roles with Albertsons and Supervalu, including broad responsibility for store operations, customer service, labor, food safety and asset protection.At Fresh Thyme, based in Downer’s Grove, Ill., Sherrell built the company to 77 stores in 11 states after opening its first units in 2014. .

Fresh Thyme CEO Chris Sherrell departs

Chris Sherrell has left Fresh Thyme Farmers Market after serving as president and CEO since founding the specialty grocery chain more than seven years ago.“I am extremely proud of the company I was able to build as well as our mission of bringing fresh and healthy food at an amazing value to dozens of communities,” Sherrell (left) said in a statement.Before that, he held a range of senior leadership roles at Albertsons and Supervalu, with responsibility for such areas as store operations, customer service, labor, food safety and asset protection.Sherrell’s exit comes after Fresh Thyme recently announced plans to close three stores later this month, including in Omaha and Grand Island, Neb., and Ames, Iowa. .

Fresh Thyme

We continue our commitment to offer more items that are fresh, organic and free from not-so-healthy ingredients – food you feel good about with no artificial sweeteners, preservatives, colors or flavors. .

Fresh Thyme Has a New Name, Logo

Fresh Thyme Farmers Market is changing its name, and a slew of other things as the company redefines its approach to serving shoppers.Cast while shopping in the retailer's home city of Chicago, the ad highlights the diversity and uniqueness of the Fresh Thyme customer."As we all continue to navigate this new normal, Fresh Thyme is dedicated to helping people meet a new standard and heightened responsibility towards their own wellbeing.Downers Grove, Ill.-based Fresh Thyme Farmers Market operates approximately 75 stores in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. .

New Vendors — Fresh Thyme Foundry

At Fresh Thyme Market at City Foundry STL, LOCAL vendors are a part of our DNA.To support each other, we have created a guide to inform our vendors of our onboarding process.To start the “new vendor conversation”, please email the Area Lead(s) of the store department that best fits your products’ description.They will confirm with our Inventory Lead, that they would like to begin the Vendor Onboarding Process. .

Fresh Thyme to open local-focused concept store

Fresh Thyme Market plans to open a new concept store in the historic Foundry area of St. Louis, Missouri, according to a company news release.The specialty grocer plans to stock 1,000 local products in the store, including numerous "hyperlocal" items sourced from the St. Louis region.Other grocers have long turned to concept stores and alternative formats as places where they can test out new products and services before rolling them out on a wider basis.Fresh Thyme has closed several stores over the past two years as it fights to win over shoppers in the 10 Midwestern states where it operates. .

Fresh Thyme: 'People Come Here For The Produce'

Produce is by far the largest department in the store, which offers a generous selection of healthy and organic fruits and vegetables, and serves as the magnet that brings people through the front door.Fresh Thyme Farmers Market has enjoyed meteoric growth since it started in 2012, with considerable investment and some administrative crossover from Grand Rapids, MI-based Meijer, as a bold attempt to create a hybrid of Whole Foods and Trader Joes in the Midwest.The message that produce rules the roost at Fresh Thyme meets customers even before they come through the front door.The community is relatively upscale, and much of the produce is organic, but as Gibson points out, if you follow the sales in the weekly flyer you won’t have to spend your whole paycheck at Fresh Thyme.“At Fresh Thyme, you’ll find a natural food marketplace that feeds your body without feasting on your wallet.”.The concept of markets built around high quality produce with a touch of farmers market ambience is catching on in greater Detroit: The growing Fresh Thyme portfolio includes five stores in suburban neighborhoods within 30 miles of the lakefront Joe Louis Arena. .

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