New Grocer Invades DW Turf

August 7, 2007
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GRAND RAPIDS — Fresh Market, an upscale food store that focuses on perishables, marks its grand opening Wednesday with a jazz band, barbecue and abundant samples, store manager Michael Black said.

Located at

5110 28th St. SE
, in the retail-heavy area between Interstate 96 and
Patterson Avenue
, the 22,000-square-foot store is the company’s only Michigan location since the quick demise of a Fresh Market in the Detroit suburb Rochester Hills.

Shoppers won’t fund much in the way of laundry detergent or tissues, but Black said the emphasis is on fresh meat, seafood, produce and baked goods.

“We’re bringing a different concept with quality presentation and service,” said Black, a 25-year veteran of Farmer Jack in Detroit. “We’re going to bring a quality to Grand Rapids that I don’t think they’ve seen before. We really concentrate on detail. On our orange table, we have every navel orange turned in the same direction. The same with the apples. It’s a very clean store, and service is most important to us.”

Black said he has a staff of 90 full- and part-time employees.

John Schmidt, new store operations manager, said he’s not worried about customers confusing Fresh Market with Spartan Stores’ D&W Fresh Market stores. Spartan recently redesigned the D&W logo to give emphasis to the words “Fresh Market.”

“Our store is so much different,” Schmidt said. “We’ve only got five aisles of grocery and limited frozen or dairy products. A lot of times customers shop other stores to buy pantry items and stop here to buy fresh products. I don’t think we’ll have that much confusion. At least I’m hoping not.”

Spartan Stores spokesman Jeanne Norcross did not return calls seeking comment.

Fresh Market is based in Greensboro, N.C. It operates 71 stores in the Southeast and Midwest.    

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