Fast lunch at Fresh Thyme

Posted on 29 March 2017 by Ian Schrauth

12Good food at a comfortable price

 

By: Melissa Wilkinson
Staff Writer

 

If you’ve ever been to an open-air market, you’ll recognize the vibe at Fresh Thyme. Located ten minutes from campus, this upscale grocery store opened its Kirkwood location at the beginning of 2017.

“It’s a fun store,” team leader of the Kirkwood location Shannon Chronister said. “It’s not an overwhelming store. You can see the whole thing when you walk in.”

Based out of Downers Grove, Chicago, Fresh Thyme is a Midwest chain focusing on healthy, organic produce.

“We’ve combined the spirit of a weekend farmers market and the convenience of a neighborhood store with the nutritious offerings of a natural food marketplace,” according to the Fresh Thyme website.

The produce section is the heart of the store, taking up roughly half of the floorspace, and by design the aisles are few and not numbered. It’s meant to feel small and easily navigable.FM

“It’s a natural, organic grocery store,” Chronister said. “I feel like we’re a value driven store as well. My goal as the store team leader is to provide the Kirkwood area with the best customer service and atmosphere.”

In addition to groceries, household items and produce, Fresh Thyme offers a selection of grab-and-go items including salads, pastas and tamales.

“We’ve got a little cafe area set up,” Chronister said. “We have a great salad bar…soups, hot sandwiches, cold sandwiches. Our pizza’s really good. It’s a buck ninety-nine, which is a pretty good deal.”

The cafe area — a cluster of tables near the front of the store — provides a microwave in which to warm up food, as well as a bar with outlets. Chronister encourages students to bring their laptops and do homework as they eat.

If you’re searching for your coffee fix, Fresh Thyme has you covered. Two unique coffees from their selection of over 20 are offered, with the options changing daily. There’s also a bread-slicing machine and a nut grinder for freshly made spreads.

Although Fresh Thyme, like Whole Foods, focuses on organic products, it bests its better-known competitor in price. A single-serve macaroni and cheese, almond croissant and fresh squeezed juiced costs less than $7. It’s no wonder this Midwest chain is growing fast.

“We have some 50 odd stores right now,” Chronister said, “and we’re gonna build 25 stores this year across the Midwest.”

Despite the store’s spreading influence, Fresh Thyme still manages to stay true to it’s origins, providing top brand organic goods without the big-name environment of other groceries of the same ilk. If you’re looking for a quick lunch during a break at reasonable prices with a friendly atmosphere, give Fresh Thyme a try.

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