Fresh Thyme Farmers Market made its market debut in Pennsylvania earlier this month when it opened its first two stores in suburban Pittsburgh in Bridgeville and Pleasant Hills.
The Downers Grove, Ill.-based specialty retailer also confirmed a third Western Pennsylvania location is on the way for 2019 in the fast-growing northern suburb of Cranberry Township.
“We strategically place our stores in areas where we know the consumers are on a health journey, no matter what that may be,” a Fresh Thyme spokeswoman told WGB in an email. “We look forward to becoming engrained in the Pittsburgh area and serving local residents. From stocking local products, hiring residents and partnering with nonprofits in the area, we are fully committed to serving the Pittsburgh community as part of our growing family, including our expansion into Cranberry in 2019,” where a 31,296-square-foot store will open in the former H.H. Gregg appliance store in Cranberry Commons, which is co-anchored by a conventional Target and Lowe’s home improvement store.
Fresh Thyme’s two new Pittsburgh stores mark the first new grocery entrant in the market where Giant Eagle has long remained the dominant leader. They are part of its estimated 10 openings for 2018, which also include new locations in Evansville and Ames, Ind.
As WGB previously reported, the 71-store Fresh Thyme enhanced its leadership team in 2017 with the appointments of Carol Okamoto as CFO, Mark Doiron as CMO and Dean Little as COO. The retailer has also expanded its private label line, which was first introduced in 2015, to include more than 1,000 SKUs across all categories.
Fresh Thyme Farmers Market is a full-service specialty retailer focusing on value-priced fresh, healthy, natural and organic offerings in its produce, meat, deli, bakery, dairy and frozen departments. Its stores also house 400 bulk food bins and boast a simple, easy-to-navigate layout devoid of numbered aisles or store map handouts. It also has its own line of organic and natural private label products.