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Last updated: Thu. Jan. 09, 2014 - 07:46 am EDT

Healthy grocery store coming to former Borders location

Fresh Thyme Farmers Market hopes to open by the end of the year.

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A new grocery store specializing in fresh, healthy, natural foods plans to open on Coldwater Road where Borders bookstore used to be.

Fresh Thyme Farmers Market has signed a lease for the 26,081-square-foot building at 4320 Coldwater Road. The company anticipates opening the store late this year, said Colein Whicher, director of marketing and strategy for Fresh Thyme.

The new chain hasn't opened any stores yet, but plans to open its first store this spring in Mount Prospect, Ill., a Chicago suburb. The business is headquartered in Phoenix now but plans to move to an office behind the Mount Prospect store, Whicher said.

Chris Sherrell, president and CEO, founded the company in 2012 with the goal of opening 50 stores in the Midwest over the next seven years, according to the Fresh Thyme website. Sherrell has spent more than 20 years in the natural food and farmers market retail business. Most recently he was president and CEO of Sunflower Farmers Markets, a chain of 44 stores in eight Southwestern states.

Whicher declined to provide many specifics on the store as the company plans a big announcement mid-February. But the website has lots of information on the store concept, layout and products to be sold.

An abundant produce department, offering fruits and vegetables, some organic, some grown locally, will be the "nucleus" of the store.

A bulk food section with more than 300 choices will include organic grains, beans and flours, nuts, seeds, trail mixes, granola, breakfast cereal, dried fruit, oatmeal, candy and locally roasted small-batch coffee beans.

Fresh seafood will be delivered daily. Natural meat, raised without hormones and antibiotic free, will be sold.

Fresh Thyme plans to bake bread daily as well as sell some provided by local bakeries. It will sell some gluten-free baked goods.

The dairy case will include organic milk, cage-free eggs, Greek yogurt, fresh juice and more including dairy-alternative options such as almond milk, soy milk, rice milk, tofu and other vegan alternatives.

Like a conventional store Fresh Thyme will sell grocery items and frozen foods, but with an emphasis on natural ingredients.

Natural body-care products, such as paraben-free lotions and aluminum-free deodorant will be sold, as well as vitamins, minerals, homeopathic remedies, protein powders and more.

For more information on Fresh Thyme Farmers Market check out the company's website at www.freshthyme.com or follow the company on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FreshThymeFarmersMarkets.

clarson@news-sentinel.com


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