How does a grocery chain celebrate its 30th anniversary? They open their first store in California. Today The Fresh Market opens at 9 a.m. with a Parmesan wheel breaking. Located at 2030 Douglas Boulevard (near the Macaroni Grill), it is on a busy thoroughfare where many will surely stop on their commute.
I apologize for the horrible photos. I forgot my good camera and had to use my smartphone.
Based in Greensboro, North Carolina, The Fresh Market stores are mostly east of the Mississippi. After this first store in Roseville, the second will be in Palo Alto, then Santa Barbara. The company's focus is on bringing the best in perishable (fresh) products to their customers with the best customer service.
We are taken by small groups around the store. I am with regional manager Jeff Jordan. We start in the produce section where I see everything from aloe leaves and Buddha hands to giant pomelos. The Fresh Market carries both organic and conventional produce. Jordan explains that they do try to find produce with a "wow" factor. I attest to that after I was wowed by some giant apples the size of small grapefruit. As with other products throughout the store, produce is marked as "local" if it is within 100 miles of the store and "regional" if within 300 miles.
We stop by the cheese department, which carries 200 kinds, and by the bulk candy section, something that the children love. Over at the deli and hot food area, which is quite large, we stop by the hot food tables, a first for The Fresh Market stores. I recognize the Sukhi's brand name as the hot table is being filled with Indian food. Based in San Francisco, they will have Sukhi's Indian food in the hot tables every day, says Sukhi's son and representative. The Fresh Market also has an extensive rotisserie section with five flavored, roasted chickens, ribs, pork loins, and more. The deli case is also large, making it easy to get an entire meal for the family. Apparently one of the top sellers is the chicken salad because it is made with all five of the flavored rotisserie chickens to create great flavor.
We pass the empty meat/seafood cases which will be filled by morning. The bakery cases are already stocked and ready for the opening. We are also shown the grocery sections, beer, wine, and wellness.
Some other things that were worth noting...
|Make your own 6-pack of artisan beers|
|Pumpkin sparkling cider is delicious (and I want the reusable bottles)|
|The candy section is dangerously large|
|Spices sold in packets (use your own jars)|
Sacramento has become quite the competitive market for grocery chains. Just in the last two years we have added Fresh & Easy, Sprouts/Sunflower, and now The Fresh Market. It will be interesting to see how each one fares as they each have their own "flavor", so to speak. I rarely get to Roseville anymore, but I will be stopping by to check on The Fresh Market when I am.