Tarrant County foodies have another set of aisles to browse, as The Fresh Market opens Wednesday in an increasingly competitive market.
The store at 1001 E. Southlake Blvd. is the second of three grocers planned at Southlake Boulevard and Carroll Avenue. The other two are Central Market, open since 2006, and Trader Joe’s, expected to open in Southlake Town Square on Feb. 20. The area also has Sprouts farther west on Southlake Boulevard and Whole Foods Market in Colleyville.
Another Fresh Market is expected to open in Fort Worth’s WestBend development on University Drive this year.
Ken Towery, south zone vice president of operations for North Carolina-based Fresh Market, said the specialty grocer’s smaller locations help separate it from similar concepts. At 25,000 square feet, the Southlake location is smaller than Central Market, at about 65,000 square feet, but larger than the new Trader Joe’s, at 13,500.
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A preview Monday revealed an interior with a rustic feel and brushed-bronze fixtures. The entire store is visible from the front, where shoppers start with produce and floral.
“When you come in, you see what’s here,” Towery said. “What we’re trying to accomplish is to stimulate all the senses.”
Towery said the store’s atmosphere will be one where customers and employees share recipes.
“That’s part of the shopping experience with our customers,” he said. “People want to learn more about food.”
The heart of the store is the deli, stocked with sushi, sandwiches, salads and soups, he said.
Towery said The Fresh Market focuses on “hard-to-find and up-and-coming brands,” including Rao’s pasta sauces, Unique Splits pretzels and its proprietary Anything Goes sauce.
“Shopping the aisles seems more like a treasure hunt, because you find things you enjoy that you didn’t know existed,” Towery said.
The store has a corner section of wine and a variety of beers and ciders.
It employs 90 people, Towery said.
Southlake Fresh Market is the second location in the Metroplex. One opened in Dallas’ Lakewood neighborhood in December. There are also three locations in Houston.
The Fresh Market joins REI and Beauty Brands in Park Village, which is still under construction.
Dustin L. Dangli, 817-390-7770
The Fresh Market Southlake
▪ 1001 E. Southlake Blvd.
▪ Hours: 8 a.m.-9 p.m. daily
▪ To celebrate Wednesday’s grand opening, the new location will offer specials. This weekend, chefs will prepare food samplings and perform cooking demonstrations.