Fresh Thyme Farmers Market opens in Wisconsin [PHOTO GALLERY]

Downtown Milwaukee store will be the first of six in the state

Fresh Thyme anchors phase three of Mandel Group's North End Development.

Fresh Thyme Farmers Market unveiled its first of six Wisconsin stores Tuesday in Mandel Group Inc.’s North End development in downtown Milwaukee.

The organic grocery store includes a coffee bar, juice bar and 400 bulk  food bins.

Fresh Thyme CEO Chris Sherrell said the state was in need of what Fresh Thyme brings to the Wisconsin market, which is fresh competition and the farmers market concept.

“We bring a fresh option, at a value, in a great shopping environment,” Sherrell said. “We’re trying to bring the fun back in shopping, at the same time, we’re trying to bring affordability back to the natural and organic food space.”

The Downers Grove, Ill.-based company has opened 38 stores in the last two years.

“It has been tough, but we have a a tried and true concept,” Sherrell said. “The big question was, does the Midwest support this concept, and the answer has been yes.”

Locally, Fresh Thyme is also planning on building stores at 84South in Greenfiled and in Brookfield, Kenosha and Menomonee Falls.

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