by Nancy Stiles
Fresh Thyme Farmers' Market, a new midwest grocery chain, will open next year in Fairview Heights, Illinois. The strip mall, at the northwest corner of Illinois 159 and Lincoln Trail, housed a Kmart from 1998 until it closed last September. The new grocery is expected bring 100 jobs to the area and healthier food options for the community.
The first Fresh Thyme will open in January 2014 in the Chicago suburbs, and the plan is to open 47 more farmers' market-style stores across the midwest over the next five years. 25 percent of the store's offerings will be fresh produce and perishables.
The focus will also be on natural and organic foods, and some local products. The strip that housed Kmart is being demolished and a new shopping center is currently under construction. In addition to Fresh Thyme, PetCo and OfficeMax will remain and Sports Authority will relocate from Fairview Heights Plaza.