Fresh Market Bows First Michigan Store

ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. -- The competitive Michigan marketplace grew more so this week, when The Fresh Market opened its first southeast Michigan store here, a 26,000-square-foot unit with an old-style butcher shop, seafood center, bakery, florist, and specialty items along with produce, frozen foods, and grocery products.

"It all starts with customer service, and ours is second to none," Dorothy Carlow of the 61-store chain, based in North Carolina, said in a local news report. "Each of our departments has someone working from open to close."

The new Michigan Fresh Market also includes bulk foods, deli and candy, in addition to other popular items like Hereford beef, Wild Alaskan salmon, king crab legs, and shrimp.

"The Fresh Market puts an enormous amount of energy and resources into creating a unique food shopping experience," said v.p. of operations Craig Carlock. "It's easy to shop our stores because every product is carefully scrutinized and we carry only the best of the best. We chose to locate our first Michigan store in Rochester Hills because of its wonderful sense of style and sense of community, and we eagerly await opening our doors to the folks really looking for something different and something more from their grocer."

The family-owned, privately held company indicated it could open other new Detroit-area locations, depending on the success of its first store, a process that will likely take a year or two before a final determination is made.

Meanwhile, another competitor will join the ranks of the marketplace, when the Plum Market opens in March in Bloomfield Township, at a former Kroger site. Additional Plum Markets are planned for Ann Arbor in fall and Royal Oak in 2008, according to Matthew Jonna, who is opening the stores with his father Edward, whose family previously ran the Merchant of Vino.

The Plum Market is designed to serve Generation X and Y shoppers by offering organic and specialty foods including natural meats, sustainable seafood, chocolates, vitamins, supplements, prepared foods and given the family's previous retail experience, full-service wine sections.
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