EXCLUSIVE: FRESH MARKET SNEAK PREVIEW
Saratoga Springs, NY, is a small city (population 26,586 – source: 2010 Census) in upstate NY with the motto “The City in the Country.” The town is known by it’s motto “Health, History, and Horses,” and it known historically for having one of the longest running horse racing tracks in the country and for it’s healing spring waters. Currently, there has been a greater interest in healthy food in this small city with the walkable downtown, as reflected by restaurants offering more locally sourced foods, the addition of a second farmers market, and an expansion of grocery store offerings in close proximity.
Let’s look at the current offerings in Saratoga Springs, NY, as mapped by the Skidmore College GIS Center for Interdisciplinary Research.
In looking at the offerings, you see small specialty markets, traditional supermarkets, and large specialty markets. Of course, things are not black and white, but shades of grey as traditional supermarkets renovate to offer more specialty goods and craft items (both Price Choppers in Saratoga have undergone large renovation projects, including one tear down and rebuild, and Hanneford in Wilton has had a recent makeover as well.) Some small specialty markets are expanding, specifically Putnam Market’s recent move next door, and Four Season’s current expansion project. So, the food scape is changing, as existing establishments create new experiences and offerings to their loyal shoppers.
Recent major changes to the grocery geography of Saratoga Springs, NY (and I am including within one mile of the border as well) include the addition of Healthy Living in the Wilton Mall – A Vermont based Market and Cafe, which opened September 15, 2013. This was the first major new market offering in the last few years. And now, we have another large specialty market moving to town. Their name is Fresh Market. Today, I bring to you an exclusive advance view of what to expect when they open their doors on Wednesday, May 14, at 8am.
And NOW for an EXCLUSIVE Look INSIDE the NEW FRESH MARKET!!!!
I will be at Fresh Market’s Grand Open on Wednesday Morning (May 14th, 2014) at 8am. Here are the details of the grand opening ceremony (as seen here.)
Join us at 8:00 am on May 14th for our new store opening in Saratoga Springs, NY. Stop by at 8:15 am for the “Cracking of the Parmesan” our gourmet version of a ribbon-cutting event. Opening day activities include a free sample bag of coffee to the first 1,000 customers, a free reusable shopping bag to the first 1,000 customers, food sampling stations from 9 am – 7 pm, and chef demonstrations from 10 am – 7 pm! Customers can also sign-up in store for The Fresh Market’s weekly “Fresh Ideas” e-mail to be entered to win a $100 The Fresh Market gift card.
I was lucky enough to get a tour of the new facility today by Rachel Booker, who kindly showed me around, and allowed me to take some pictures and post them online. After getting the tour, I think Fresh Market may fit a nice niche in Saratoga. Here are my top 5 reasons why I think they will be successful.
5. Location. First of all, it will be the closest large specialty market to Skidmore College. Nearly 10% of the Saratoga Springs population is enrolled at Skidmore College, and another 500 or so folks work their everyday. I think this will be a great benefit to Fresh Market, where taking a trip to Wilton is problematic for a quick grocery shopping or a specialty sandwich.
4. Prices. Based on my observations today, I think as a chain of 150 or so high end large specialty markets, I believe they will be able to offer high quality items for less due to their buying power. I have a hunch that you will end up leaving Fresh Market with a similar shopping bill as you might leave Price Chopper. I also think they will be competitive with Healthy Living on price and offering, but that is to be seen.
3. Atmosphere. I really enjoyed my visit today. I like the wood grain, the baskets by the checkout, and the design elements lining the walls around the perimeter. You can see these in the photos. Also, there are really, really high ceilings with great lighting that I think people will really appreciate.
2. The Staff! Today I met one of the companies managers from Tennessee, and I also met an IT fellow from South Carolina. The Fresh Market company started in Greensboro, North Carolina, and the southern charm resonated in the folks that I encountered. I think if the welcoming that I experienced today is part of the company culture and that can translate to the rest of the staff, I think you will always be satisfied dealing with their customer service.
1. The Food. I saw lots of items that I would like to buy at Fresh Market today. As they were setting up the displays, it was looking like it hit a sweet spot in their offerings to Saratogians and those who live in surrounding towns. Their concept is to create an “open-air market with old world charm.” From their About Us page.
For over thirty years, The Fresh Market has brought you the freshest, most delicious quality products from around the corner and around the globe. What started in Greensboro, North Carolina as a dream has grown into a refreshing reality with over 100 stores in over 20 states across the nation. Each one a part of the local community. Each one dedicated to providing the freshest and best local ingredients.
Back in 1982, our founders decided to open a store that was different from the giant industrialized grocery stores of the time. They wanted to open a smaller store that focused on the customer and the shopping experience. They wanted to create an open-air market with old-world charm, stocked with fresh meats, seafood, fruits, and vegetables. They wanted the store to be “a fresh concept in grocery shopping.”
Bringing the European style market stateside was just the beginning. Step inside The Fresh Market and you’ll notice a rustic feel complimented by old-world charm, warm lighting and classical music that provide an inviting atmosphere. This truly makes shopping at The Fresh Market an experience unlike any other.
Enjoy a fresh brewed sample cup of java as you stroll down the aisles. You will quickly see what sets us apart. We put our meats and seafood behind refrigerated glass, not inside plastic wrapped foam trays, so you can select the freshest cut. Our store is loaded with the freshest produce, bin after bin of fresh roasted coffee beans, and hard-to-find grocery items from around the globe.
If you like to cook and love to eat, then The Fresh Market is the only place to go to make your meal “gourmet.” With high-quality meats, the freshest seafood, and amazing local, organic produce, you will see what a difference fresh makes. Stop by today to experience the food. Then head home with exactly what you want… and everything you need.
So, as you can see I am excited for this new Saratoga Springs grocer. Make sure you check out Saratoga’s newest large specialty market on Facebook and sign up for their email list.
Contact the Author
alexchaucer AT gmail DOT com