“Fresh Thyme Farmers Market” is a relatively new chain of grocery stores in the Upper Midwest. I’ve heard it described as “Trader Joe’s meets Whole Foods.” I guess that means the focus is on “natural” and “organic” mixed with some interesting items (imports) like Trader Joe’s stocks.
The chain is the brainstorm of the former CEO of Phoenix based Sunflower Farmers Markets, which was founded by the originator of the Wild Oats chain, which was sold to Whole Foods. The start-up is being financed by the giant Meijer grocery, out of Michigan, and has a goal of having 60 stores by 2020.
Fresh Thyme Farmers Market (not sure what happened to the apostrophe) stores are larger than Trader Joe’s, but smaller than most Whole Foods. They have a very large selection of fresh produce, and the one I was in had a hot foods counter (pizza, sandwiches) and a deli counter. This location the deli meats were exclusively from Boar’s Head, which is a respectable company, but in my own personal opinion, not the best in the segment.
To me, the store appears to have better value pricing than either TJs or WFs, and the day I was in, weekly specials included a pound of Thai (pond raised) shrimp for $3.79, and house made sausages in many flavors at $2.99.
I go to these kind of specialty stores for a few reasons: looking for unknown (to me) ingredients to try out, house-made specialties, and unusual imports. So I bought the shrimp, sausage, some produce, and a frozen pizza imported from Italy, which I hope is as good as the imported pizzas at Trader Joe’s. I’ll let you know. My opinion, the frozen pizzas at TJs from Italy and France are far superior to almost all American brands.
The stores are immaculate, open early and late, and the personnel are courteous and informed. I’ll stop back from time to time, for sure.
Store locator. (Photos from the company’s website and copyright their respective owners).
Fresh Thyme Market Review