CANTON, Mich. — The grocery wars are heating up in Canton. A brand new Fresh Thyme Farmers Market is now open at the corner of Ford Road and Morton Taylor. About 100 full- and part-time jobs were created from this new store opening.
Just last week, a new Busch’s grocery store opened up on Canton Center Road near Cherry Hill. Both are competing along with existing stores like Kroger, Meijer, Target and Walmart.
Back at Fresh Thyme, the store held its ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday afternoon. Then, it opened for the public on Wednesday at 7 a.m. The first 250 shoppers, aged 18 and older, received a free bag of healthy groceries as a thank you for showing up.
“The highlights of the new store is the healthy lifestyle,” said Bruce Vanoverloop, director of operations at Fresh Thyme. “We sell a lot of organic items, non-GMO items, gluten-free items, natural items. It’s the opportunity to live a healthy lifestyle and buy products at a value price. We have a sprinkle of national items but we purchase items that are more conducive to those who are looking for healthy products.”
Fresh Thyme offers an extensive produce department with organic and local fruits and vegetables, a natural meat department, healthy deli foods to go, bakery goods, 400 bulk food bins, dairy and frozen and health supplement products.
“I like it, it’s a health food store,” said shopper Ellen Kluka of Westland, Mich. “The prices are very good and all of the vegetables are fresh. The fruits look great. This is geared more towards health food. They have meats that are grass-fed and no hormones. I would compare this very favorably. I’ve wanted to remain healthy for my whole life.”
As part of the grand opening celebration, Boar’s Head hot dogs and pop were available for $1. Fresh Thyme decided to donate all of the proceeds to the University of Michigan’s Matthaei Botanical Gardens.
“This is wonderful,” said shopper Marika D. of Canton, Mich. “Lots of great samples and great foods in the bakery, fresh meat. I love it. This is a lot better than the traditional stores. It’s smaller and more compact. It’s just easier to get around in. I think the prices here are competitive. Not bad at all. They have a lot of organic things and a lot of specials. That makes it nice for everybody.”
Kids also had the opportunity to get their face painted during the grand opening celebrations. In addition, a singer and guitarist played music on Wednesday afternoon.
“Michigan has been a very good region for us,” Vanoverloop explained. “The growth patterns and the demographics of the community in general were good reasons for us to be here and the lack of a store like ours. Competition is good for the customer. It’s good for us. It’s keeps everybody on their toes. We will be as competitive as anyone in the marketplace.”
Fresh Thyme hopes to have 70 stores open by the end of 2017. This new Canton location is store No. 57.
Visit the new Canton Fresh Thyme at 43480 Ford Rd., Canton Township, MI 48187. Hours are 7 a.m. – 10 p.m. Daily. For more information, call (734) 781-4301 or visit their website at www.freshthyme.com.