Fresh Thyme Taps Brakes on Growth in 2018


Following a period of rapid growth since its launch in 2014, Fresh Thyme Farmers Market is pulling on the reins a bit, planning to open 10 new stores during 2018 after opening 20 in the past year.

The expected new stores will include the specialty grocer’s first locations in Pennsylvania. Among the 10 planned openings are stores in Pittsburgh; Evansville, Ind.; and Ames, Iowa, joining the retailer’s 66 stores in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa and Ohio.

“From acquisitions and mergers to shifting consumer habits, 2017 was marked by significant changes, and the grocery and food retail industries continue to be ever-evolving,” Chris Sherrell, Fresh Thyme’s CEO, said in his review of the retailer’s past year. “We enjoy the challenge this brings and work hard to continuously improve our shopping experience. As a three-years-young company, we’re extremely proud of our 5,000 employees and the communities we serve throughout the Midwest. Over the past year, we’ve made significant hires at the executive level, further developed our private label offerings and continued to support the organizations that matter most to our communities. We’re excited for 2018 and all that is in store.”

During 2017, Fresh Thyme expanded the leadership team based at its Downers Grove, Ill., headquarters, including Carol Okamoto as CFO, Mark Doiron as CMO, Dean Little as COO,  Amy Parker as VP and Art Scott as senior director in the marketing department, and Kerry Clifford and Meghan Sedivy as in-house registered dietitians.

In May 2017, Fresh Thyme launched a free monthly in-store magazine, Crave, featuring dietitian-inspired recipes, product spotlights and tips for healthy living.

Additionally, the retailer continued to expand its private label line of products over the past year, releasing a line of Greek yogurt, kombucha, soups, mashed cauliflower and expanded organic offerings. Next in the pipeline is a line of natural cleaning products.

Sherrell said he anticipates that consumers' habits will continue to change as they want to know more about the food they’re feedings their families, and Fresh Thyme will continue to adapt to meet its customers’ wants and needs.

In 2018, he added, shoppers can expect even more organic options and transparency regarding how their food is grown.


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