One of the best, and simplest, tips for healthy grocery shopping is to avoid the center of the grocery store, instead opting for the peripheral aisles where most of the good stuff hangs out.
But the tip holds no water at a new startup chain of natural and organic grocery stores, where the layout has been specifically designed to offer the opposite: a market where nutritious, organic fruits and vegetables serve as the foundation of the store, not the processed foods like in everyday supermarkets.
Perhaps making this inside-out approach even more unique is the fact that it’s being funded by one of the largest retail store chains in the country.
Meijer’s New Organic Project
Dubbed as the ‘Fresh Thyme Farmers Market with a slogan of “Healthy Food, Healthy Values,” the stores have a uniquely simple layout that is stocked with natural and organic products.
Based in Phoenix and backed by Meijer, the chain is considered one of the fastest-growing of its kind, with all of its locations so far springing up in Meijer’s backyard: the Midwest (the chain begin in Michigan).
Currently, the new organic food haven, which began in 2012, has 11 locations open, but 16 are already scheduled to open sometime in 2015 according to the company’s website. The goal is 60 stores total in the coming years, all in the Midwest.
The Rise of the Organic Grocery Store
Coming on the heels of an estimate that one popular grocery store chain is poised to surpass Whole Foods as the #1 organic retailer soon, the development of Fresh Thyme is an interesting one to say the least.
The store is expected to provide: natural and organic meats, fresh seafood flown in daily, ready-made meals, bulk organic foods and even natural cleaning products. It also offers a similar feature that Whole Foods shoppers have loved with its ‘Giving Tree’ feature, which shows local charity organizations the store supports.
Fresh Thyme also has what’s described as more of a farmer’s market feel than Whole Foods (hence the name of course).
So, does this new chain have what it takes to battle with Whole Foods and Kroger for the top spot among organic retailers some day? That winner is yet to be determined, but for now, the consumer is the winner, assuming our farms can keep up with the growing demand for organic food, that is (we’re still waiting to see exactly how that will be done…).