23 Aug 2014
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Fresh Thyme Promises Affordable Natural Food

Proposed new grocery store will specialize in produce, meat and seafood.

Fresh Thyme Promises Affordable Natural Food

Should Fresh Thyme Farmers Market gain approval from the Village and open in Deerfield, shoppers will find a store specializing in natural foods without the price tag normally associated with such fare.

“We’re trying to bring natural food to the masses,” Fresh Thyme President and Chief Executive Officer Chris Sherrell told Patch today after the Village Board of Trustees approved the concept Monday. “It shouldn’t be a luxury of the upper class.”

The 28,000 square foot store will place an emphasis on fresh produce, meat and seafood. “Fifty percent of the store is produce and meat,” Sherrell said. The larger portion—25 to 28 percent—will go to produce.

How will Fresh Thyme compete with a store like Jewel which is kitty corner on the southwest side of the intersection of Waukegan and Lake Cook Roads? “Conventional grocery stores have eight to 10 percent (produce),” Sherrell said. “We’re smaller but we’ll be more nimble when it comes to buying.”

Beef is just small part of what Sherrell defines as meat. He includes pork, lamb and chicken as well as beef not to mention seafood. “We’ll have 20 to 30 different selections of fish and seafood depending on available,” he said.

Most of the year, customers will get a view of the produce before they enter the store. The company plans on an outdoor display of fresh fruits and vegetables. “We’re going to try to keep it there most of the time,” Sherrell said. “I don’t know about the dead of winter.”

The outdoor area will also be open to outside groups wanting to hold farmers’ markets or not for profit organizations who may want to do a bake sale or corn roast. “We want to be part of the community and give back,” Sherrell said.

Sherrell has already made some adjustments to accommodate neighbors who are concerned about noise and traffic. Deliveries must be made between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. and must wait in front of the store with engine off if they arrive early. He promised to get personally involved.

“I can’t promise it won’t happen but I’ll take care of it if it does,” Sherrell said at Monday’s meeting referring to delivery truck disturbing neighbors. “If it happens again, I’ll take care of it again. These trucks work for us.”

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