More than 450 people lined up Thursday to be the first in the door at the new Fresh Thyme Farmer’s Market in Bloomington.
The W. 3rd Street location opened after six months of renovation, offering the first 250 customers a free bag of groceries.
Regional Marketing Director Regan Vorndran says lines started forming outside the store as early as 4 a.m., with some waiting up to three hours for the store to open at 7.
“It’s been great, I think that the west side is very excited to have a new grocer,” Vorndran says. “We have had such a great response from not only Bloomington, but also Ellettsville, so it’s been great, everyone’s been very welcoming, very very excited for us.”
Vorndran says Fresh Thyme seeks to provide customers with fresh, organic, locally grown, healthy foods.
“We have local produce items, grocery items. Pretty much just everything in the store we try to have at least a few things per department that’s from Bloomington, and not just the Midwest.”
According to the Organic Trade Association, the amount of money Americans spend on organic food has more than doubled in the past decade, to more than $43 billion in 2015.
The national chain will compete with local specialty grocers like Lucky’s and Bloomingfoods. This fall, a 365 by Whole Foods will open within walking distance of Bloomingfoods’ flagship store.