I received compensation in exchange for helping to promote Fresh Thyme’s Grand Opening. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
On Wednesday morning, I stood in line with hundreds of other excited Twin-Citizens awaiting the grand door opening of Minnesota’s first Fresh Thyme Farmers Market. Why do I already love Fresh Thyme? Well, I am a sucker for a good summer farmers market, I love the convenience and comfort of a neighborhood store, and I want to feed my family healthy choices without jumping through hoops or spending my life savings to provide that for them. If you rolled all those reasons into one, you’d get a store exactly like Fresh Thyme. Badda-bing! Happy mommy!
When I walked into the farm-themed grocer that morning, I felt snug as a bug in a rug (and not just because it was really, really busy!). It felt warm and homey and off-the-charts friendly. I was greeted by smiling staff, a flyer, and a basket for my goodies…and my, were there ever goodies.
When I walked in the front door, my pregnant nose pulled me straight in the direction of the bakery. Like, I made a literal beeline. Artisan breads, rolls, muffins, cupcakes, and a slew of gluten-free options? I was in a special kind of heaven.
Fresh Thyme Farmers Market is a full-service specialty grocer that focuses on affordable, fresh, natural and organic offerings. The new store is located in Bloomington, tucked just a few blocks behind Southtown Square and American Blvd. But when you step in to the store, you feel like you’ve been transported into ye old farm country. LOVE. SO. MUCH. The colors, the cleanliness, the wood paneling. The fonts, the logos, the overall look. Not to mention the underground parking that leads directly into the store via escalator and the helpful overabundance of staff. All of these things had me sold before I even had a chance to look at the selection…which was diverse, unique, and so very fresh.
The store boasts a robust salad bar, daily-made sushi, bulk nuts and candy, take-and-bake pizzas, fresh cheeses and meats, a fish market, locally grown fruits and vegetables, organic yogurts and a produce section the size of my house.
Their locally-roasted bulk coffee section was very welcoming at 7am. Fresh Thyme roasts their own using old-world artisan equipment and the finest green coffee. Their pizza bar lets you choose your own ingredients and they will either bake it for you on-site or you can take it home for an easy peasy family dinner.
And just when I thought my stomach couldn’t get any happier, I ran across their bulk oils bar. OK, I know I’m a freak when it comes to specialty oils, so this pour-your-own option was the greatest surprise of all. I’ve never seen such a thing, and the idea of mixing chili and sea salt and parmesan and basil and…shoot, I’m drooling. Just a cool concept! That was my point.
They have the same same option with honey, and that even come in those cute little honey bear jars.
Fresh Thyme also sells organic cleaning products and baby food/formula, a variety of milks (almond, vanilla, coconut, quinoa, soy and rice), soaps, lotions, dog food, seafood, vitamins, makeup and flowers. Virtually anything you could want to put in or on your body is sold here, and it’s all safer, fresher and healthier than that which any big box store offers.
Now that I’ve raved about this place from the adult perspective, what can your kiddos expect?
Bulk candy. Oooo man, I’d lose my kids for an hour in their candy section. Taffies and gummies and chocolates galore! Hand your kid a bag and let them enjoy their visit too. At the store over lunch time? Pick up a sandwich or pizza from the food counter and enjoy a sit-down meal in their small seating area tucked behind the cash registers by the escalator.
Peruse the baby gifts or play Spot-the-Tractor – a game that can entertain a child with a lengthy attention span. Fresh Thyme hides a small red tractor somewhere throughout the store and it’s the job of your young ones to find it. In such a huge store, this task may seem impossible, but I did happen to locate it at the Grand Opening (toot! toot!). Too bad they move it every week.
Also, a game-changer that every store should have: mini carts. My kids LOVE mini carts. Fresh Thyme offers kid cards and that right there will make shopping here well worth the drive.
Fresh Thyme stores host a plethora of family-friendly events that include specials, live music, face painting and more. Keep an eye on their local Facebook page for event information. More stores are scheduled to open throughout Minnesota in the next year or two, so stay tuned and get excited!
- Visit the Fresh Thyme website here.