West Saint Paul won’t be getting a Fresh Thyme Farmers Market grocery store in 2017 after all. But that doesn’t mean the full-service specialty retailer focusing on value-priced fresh, healthy, natural and organic offerings, won’t open in the city in the future.
In July of 2016, The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal reported that the company had deals in the works to open Fresh Thyme grocery stores in West St. Paul, Prospect Park and Waite Park in 2017. However, a Fresh Thyme spokesperson recently told Eat IGH “At this time, Fresh Thyme is really only talking about planned 2017 openings with stores coming to Waite Park and St. Louis Park, Minnesota.”
When asked if that means a Fresh Thyme would perhaps open in West Saint Paul in 2018, or a later date, the source said:
“I cannot confirm that it is not planned at this time but it is not slated to open in 2017.”
The bad news is, Fresh Thyme is not coming in 2017. The good news is, there is still a possibility a Fresh Thyme could come to West Saint Paul. But keep in mind, restaurant and retail officials never openly discuss their business development plans, so they would never come out and say yes, or no until a deal is final, but could be working behind the scenes to make something happen.
Fresh Thyme Farmers Market is currently open in these Minnesota locations: Bloomington, Vadnais Heights, Apple Valley, Savage, Plymouth and Waite Park.
Colein Whicher, Director of Strategy for Fresh Thyme, told Eat IGH this:
“We’re always looking for great new store sites throughout the Midwest,” said Whicher. “The ideal locations are in well-educated, active and health-oriented communities, where our neighbors value quality natural and organic food. We’re lucky to have a store concept which appeals to a wide variety of demographics and is on-trend with the common desire to live a healthier lifestyle and have a higher quality of life.”
Fresh Thyme Farmers Market boasts an extensive produce department with organic and local fruits and vegetables, a natural meat department, healthy deli foods to go, bakery goods, 400 bulk food bins, dairy and frozen, health supplement products, and its own line of organic and natural private label products.
According to Produce News, Fresh Thyme has been described as a hybrid of Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods and a natural foods store. At 28,000-square-feet or less, Fresh Thyme stores are 30-60 percent smaller than a traditional Whole Foods store, while they are two to three times larger than a Trader Joe’s. More than half of the store is used to display fresh produce, meats and seafood.
“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 Chris Sherrell, Fresh Thyme’s chief executive officer, in a news release. “It is a completely new grocery format for the Midwest.”
Will that new format be coming to West Saint Paul in the coming years? That is what we are all waiting to find out.