Eating healthier in Pittsburgh just got easier thanks to the opening of two Fresh Thyme Farmers Markets.
The stores, located in Bridgeville’s Great Southern Shopping Center and at Southland in Pleasant Hills, feature fresh produce, natural and gluten-free products and 1,500 private-label offerings, along with more than 5,000 organic items.
“The goal of organic means to farm without hurting the soil, animals or water quality, and it prevents the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, genetically modified crops or even antibiotics in livestock,” Fresh Thyme Registered Dietitian Meghan Sedivy says.
Founded six years ago by Chris Sherrell in Downers Grove, Ill., the company now boasts 72 stores in 11 midwestern states, with plans to open a Cranberry location in 2019. Each building is staffed with approximately 125 full- and part-time employees.
Open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., the stores are intentionally small — just 28,000 square feet — and outfitted with low shelves, a Kid’s Thyme Farm Stand featuring free produce, and fun activities for children to make the shopping experience more convenient.
To keep prices affordable, Fresh Thyme sources many of its products from dozens of local farmers and other businesses, which cuts down on transportation costs.
“We look forward to working with local farmers during the growing months. We’ve already begun to partner with American Farms Produce to supply future locally grown fruit and vegetables,” says Scott Schuette, vice president of produce.
Pennsylvania-based partners include Donatos Pizza, Schneider’s Dairy, Pasture Maid Creamery, Bedillion Honey Farm, Sauder’s Eggs, Unique Pretzel Bakery and Islay’s.
Shoppers can also pick up a six-pack or bottle of wine in the Hops & Grapes Department. Pennsylvania beers, including offerings from East End Brewing Co., Full Pint Brewing, Hop Farm Brewing and Rivertowne Brewing, are featured.
Fresh Thyme also works with local charities. Money raised during the grand opening celebration was donated to both the Pleasant Hills and Bridgeville public libraries and the stores have forged relationships with area schools and nonprofit organizations such as the Charlie Batch Foundation.