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New markets coming to area part of Midwestern push

Fresh Thyme Farmers Markets’ Beavercreek and Sugarcreek stores are scheduled to open in 2015, and they are part of a much broader push that will see the Phoenix-based specialty grocer open 60 new stores and create 5,000 jobs in the Midwest over the next five years, the company announced Tuesday.

The grocer has announced the locations of less than half of the 60 stores it plans to build, so there’s more expansion to come. A spokeswoman for Fresh Thyme did not have any information regarding the locations of the additional locations.

The organic foods grocery chain will open 28,000-square-foot stores at 2850 Centre Drive near the Mall at Fairfield Commons in Beavercreek and 4317 Feedwire Road near I-675 and Wilmington Pike in Sugarcreek Twp., Fresh Thyme officials announced in January. Each store will employ 80 to 100. Two other new Fresh Thyme locations will open in Cincinnati, and two in the Columbus area, company officials said Tuesday.

The two Cincinnati locations are scheduled to open in 2014, along with seven other Midwest stores.

Fresh Thyme President and CEO Chris Sherrell said in a release the new stores will offer locally sourced and organic fruits and vegetables at value prices designed to make healthy food “more attainable to the masses.” The stores also include a butcher shop, a full dairy section, a beer and wine department, vitamins and supplements, and a variety of gluten-free and dairy-free products.

The Fresh Thyme stores will enter an increasingly competitive organic- and health-foods market in Montgomery County’s south suburbs that already includes Earth Fare and Health Foods Unlimited. In addition, Whole Foods has said it will build a store in Washington Twp., and several grocers, including Dorothy Lane Market and Kroger, have increased their organic-food options.

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