Fresh Thyme Farmers Market, an organic natural supermarket backed by Meijer, is coming to Lexington.
A permit was issued for a $1.5 million remodel of 125 East Reynolds Road, in the former location of Office Max in Crossroads Plaza, across from Lexington Green and Fayette Mall.
Privately held, Fresh Thyme is headquartered in the Chicago suburb of Downers Grove. The chain began about four years ago in Phoenix and has expanded quickly, with about 33 stores now and dozens more on the way. One opened in Newport in January, and a store is under construction in Louisville.
According to project architect Greg McMullen, the Lexington store is projected to open in August.
Fresh Thyme stores are usually smaller than other natural supermarkets such a Whole Foods. Offerings include organic produce and meats, dairy and cheese, baked goods, natural health products, bulk goods, and beer and wine. Fresh Thyme carries name brands and its own line of products.
The stores, which have been described as a cross between Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, are designed to look like a farmers market and appeal to shoppers looking for healthy alternatives at a reasonable price.
“We are a value-oriented concept — not a discount-oriented, by any stretch, but value-oriented,” CEO Chris Sherrell said in a 2014 interview. Sherrell did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.
This is the second new organic entrant into the Lexington market; Lucky’s opened in January near the University of Kentucky campus.
Natural and organic food stores often appeal to millennial shoppers, a lucrative market niche. Supermarket giant Meijer is an investor in Fresh Thyme, but the companies are run separately.