Fresh Thyme Market

Fresh Thyme Market, River Forest, IL, store has islands of tomatoes with avocados and garlic toward the back and bagged citrus to the front.

Local produce is important to this Chicago retailer.

Authenticity is important to Fresh Thyme Market, a priority that’s reflected throughout its stores, starting in the produce department.

Take the store in River Forest, IL, a Chicago suburb, as an example. Produce links the service and other perishable product departments to the rest of the store, while also serving as the opening of the traffic pattern through the sales floor. At the entrance, an archway of balloons highlighted the start of the shopping venture during a weekday in March, fronted by promotional citrus displays in crate-style floor fixtures, and by stacked tray boxes sporting the Fresh Thyme logo.

For a midsized supermarket, the store had a large assortment of houseplants complementing floral displays, with the first display just inside the entranceway.

Other smaller promotional crate displays feature strawberries atop a case-style fixture, and apples, specifically Michigan apples, displayed on a unique, rough-hewn chest and identified by a graphic logo. The display underscored another of Fresh Thyme’s priorities — local produce.

An extensive organic food display continues at Fresh Thyme Market, River Forest, IL, along the back wall and into the dairy department. With a start featuring fruit, the organic department continues to vegetables.

The commitment is ongoing. The River Forest store’s circular that dropped just before Memorial Day included a deal on Michigan asparagus, for example.

Conspicuous in the department was an island cold case crowned by wrap-around signages styled like a tin roof with colorful graphics identifying the product assortment below, which included fresh-cut fruit, berries and cold-pressed juice.

Fresh Thyme Market, River Forest, IL, store has an island cold case with fresh-cut fruit, berries and cold-pressed juice.

Signage within the case, one piece in the form of a sliced orange, read: Fresh Thyme Orange Juice Fresh Squeezed in Store. That was introduced by a smaller black-and-white piece of signage that displayed the message Fresh Squeezed “First of the Season” Florida Orange Juice.

As the crate display signaled Fresh Thyme’s involvement with local growers, the island display bore witness to the fact that the company makes seasonality a priority.

Table displays featured pears and apples in one case, and avocados, onions and potatoes in the other. Directly behind was a cold case on the wall featuring clamshell salads. Next to it was a second-on-the-wall cold case featuring proprietary and branded fresh-cut fruit, fresh guacamole, some tray-pack corn and herbs.

The store offered consumers the chance to select individual pieces of fruits and loose vegetables, but, in many cases, it also provided the convenience of packaged product.

At the entrance of Fresh Thyme, River Forest, IL, an archway of balloons welcomed shoppers on a recent visit, fronted by promotional citrus displays in crate-style floor fixtures fronted by stacked tray boxes sporting the Fresh Thyme logo.

In a produce department extension, an extensive organic food display continues along the back wall and into the dairy department.

Fresh Thyme notes that local means “real local,” with produce, meat, grocery and wellness products from local partners, brands and farmers whenever possible. Fresh Thyme also touts “real experience,” with flavorful food as a priority and a staff who is knowledgeable about what its stores offer.

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Fresh Thyme Market, Naturally Chicago Partner on Locally Made Retail Access Program

In January, Fresh Thyme doubled down on its commitment to local product by becoming the first grocery partner of Naturally Chicago’s Locally Made Retail Access Program, the company announced.

The partnership, combined with other community efforts, will aid in Fresh Thyme’s initiatives to expand local assortment in its stores, as well as give back to the communities it serves, the company says.

The partnership with Naturally Chicago will help Fresh Thyme Market develop relationships with natural product producers. New items include those from Popadelics Mushroom and Windy City Mushroom.

“Fresh Thyme Market is thrilled to be the first retailer in this exciting initiative,” says Jonathan Lawrence, vice president of merchandising for Fresh Thyme Market and a Naturally Chicago board member, as the partnership launched.

“As a community-focused grocer, we’re proud to support these local brands and be an innovative and collaborative partner in their larger success stories.” 

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Fresh Thyme Market
2650 Warrenville Road, Suite 700, Downers Grove, IL 60515
(331) 251-7100