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FORMER OFFICE DEPOT SITE

Fresh Thyme market coming to Monroe Street

Store specializes in natural, organically grown produce

  • b4fresh

    The former Office Depot at 5105 Monroe St. is eyed as the site of the Fresh Thyme Farmers Market.

    THE BLADE/AMY E. VOIGT
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  • b4thyme

    Suburban Chicago-based Fresh Thyme Farmers Market stores specialize in natural and organically grown regional produce. The Sylvania Township store is set to open in March.

b4thyme

Suburban Chicago-based Fresh Thyme Farmers Market stores specialize in natural and organically grown regional produce. The Sylvania Township store is set to open in March.

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Fresh Thyme Farmers Market, a suburban Chicago-based grocery chain that specializes in natural and organically grown produce, fruits, meats, and other items, will open a store in the former Office Depot location at 5105 Monroe St. in Sylvania Township, a local developer said Tuesday.

Devonshire REIT, a local real estate investment trust that owns the 45,000-square-foot strip center where the grocer plans to operate, is redeveloping the site into a 30,250-square-foot market, plus two 2,000-square-foot spaces for smaller stores. It also will retain a fourth tenant, Bikram Yoga.

Fresh Thyme tentatively plans to open in March.

“They’re a good company and a good mix for that site,” said Doug Dymarkowski, Devonshire’s senior vice president and general counsel. “The Franklin Park area is one of the areas we’ve really been concentrating on for getting a good tenant mix.”

He added that Devonshire, based in Whitehouse, had been negotiating with Fresh Thyme for a year.

“I’m told they are a cross between Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s and that they source a lot from all the regional providers. They get a lot of their produce from local growers,” Mr. Dymarkowski said.

b4fresh

The former Office Depot at 5105 Monroe St. is eyed as the site of the Fresh Thyme Farmers Market.

THE BLADE/AMY E. VOIGT
Enlarge | Buy This Image

The company, which is headquartered in Downers Grove, Ill., prefers that its stores have only five or so aisles of packaged food items. The rest of its space is dedicated to fresh organic and natural foods, a natural meats department, a deli with foods to go, bakery goods, 400 bulk food bins, dairy and frozen items, and health supplement products.

“The thing about their store is they have a sense of community. It’s more open,” Mr. Dymarkowski said. “It feels like a real farmer’s market. They really stress freshness and organics.”

To accommodate more parking spaces, Devonshire is removing a 5/​3 Bank ATM kiosk, he said.

Fresh Thyme formed in 2012 through a merger of Sunflower Farmers Market and Sprouts Farmers Market, both of which operated in the Southwest. The company, which had been located in Phoenix but relocated to Illinois this year, has 22 stores in four states.

The chain opened its first store in April, 2014, in Mt. Prospect, Ill. It now has 21 stores in the Midwest, including six in Ohio and four in Michigan. Fresh Thyme is backed financially by Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Meijer Inc.

Fresh Thyme plans to open six stores this year and 60 overall by 2019. It isn’t clear whether a second store is planned for the Toledo area.

Contact Jon Chavez at: jchavez@theblade.com or 419-724-6128.

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