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Aug 10, 2007 07:09 AM

Fresh Market is coming to Chapel Hill

Read a blurb in the Chapel Hill News that the Harris Teeter on Hwy. 54/Raleigh Rd. is closing and will be replaced with a Fresh market in the spring of 2008. With Trader Joe's opening this fall and Fresh Market next spring, finally Whole Foods is going to have competition-- besides from Weaver St. Market in Carrboro. For towns the size of Chapel Hill/Carrboro this will be an embarrassment of riches for us foodies!

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  1. Well, the bad news for me is the price of running out of something at the restaurant and running across the street just went up a bit.

    Of course, I often wondered what the point of having three HTs so close to each other. After all, there's one in University Mall as well as Meadowmont

    1. I've never been to a Fresh Market... I take it this is along the lines of Whole Foods? This is great news, I live right across from Meadowmont and have no use for the Glen Lennox HT. It will be nice to have a closer option than Whole Foods.

      2 Replies
      1. re: SenorSuarez

        I'm afraid Fresh Market is going to be no substitute for Whole Foods. It WAS the best thing we had in Greenville SC before WF came, I went there twice a week. Now I have been twice in about 6 months.

        They have a better cheese selection that a BiLO or Publix, but not as good as WF and MORE expensive. They do have "natural" chicken which is better than Purdue, etc. Their Hereford beef is somewhat better than regular gro sto , as well. Produce generally no better than BiLo and more expensive. Wine and beer selection decent. Sometimes have decent dry pack scallops. But more options is always a good thing!

        1. re: danna

          with a whole foods in the area(winston) I rarely set foot in Fresh Market. I only patronize them for Blenheims ginger ale(they are the only store in the area selling them by the six pack) and good duck mousse and some stirring products. I would say they are on par or better than HT especially in customer service

      2. this is good news but I was hoping that CH would get a Greenlife. I love that store.

        1. I've never shopped at a Fresh Market, but anything is better than that particular HT.

          2 Replies
          1. re: LulusMom

            Fresh Market has perhaps the best meat selection of any grocery store around. Nothing beats their ground chuck patties for a burger on the grill, and their leg of lamb is consistently outstanding. A favorite of mine is the chicken pastries and stuffed chicken preparations - perfectly herbed and seasoned. 45 min. in the oven, and as good as something from a high-end restaurant.

            and IMHO, their fresh-baked breads put Weaver Street to shame.

            1. re: mikeh

              Their meat and seafood department is what excites me as well. It is on par with Whole Foods and the prices are lower from what i remember when visiting the Fresh Markets in Raleigh and Cary. I thought their veg department was good too.

          2. I agree with everyone so far -- FM's prices and eclectic selection prevent it from being an all-purpose grocery store -- in desperation, once, I purchased a cleaning product and a box of cereal there and felt mugged when I saw the receipt. The produce is only as good as an avg Harris Teeter. The selection isn't as good as Whole Foods.The meat and seafood and cheese are terrific. In fact, it was always the cheeses, nuts, soft drinks and the chocolate that drew me there, plus some regional products like that chocolate stuff New Yorkers always rave about. Since we got a Wild Oats in my suburb, I visit FM maybe twice a year.

            10 Replies
            1. re: fluffernutter

              Shouldn't the fate of EarthFare -- and the pent-up enthusiasm for Trader Joe's -- be a cautionary tale for Fresh Market? I'd be nervous as hell if I were that store's General Manager...or CFO....

              1. re: peetoteeto

                i was thinking the same thing, but the proximity to meadowmont will float that store. to me, people who live in meadowmont (present company excepted) seem to enjoy spending lots of money because they have lots of money to spend. im sure they will all ignore the harris teeter on their front stoop and drive an extra 500 yards to buy their trash bags and cranberry juice at fresh market.

                1. re: batdown

                  Or trash bags made with cranberry juice...

                  1. re: peetoteeto


                    And yet the place can't seem to get a good restaurant ...

                    1. re: LulusMom

                      is "Azure" still there? (I think thats what it was called). I dont know much about it. truth be told, when i go back home to chapel hill i pretty much stay away from the Mont.

                      1. re: batdown

                        I *think* it is still there. I was definitely underwhelmed the one time we tried it. And B. Christopher's was just appalling.

                        1. re: LulusMom

                          Fresh Market in North Raleigh reminds me of what you'd get if you crossed a Whole Foods with a convenience store.

                          1. re: Tom from Raleigh

                            We generally refer to it as the Faux Market in my house. I've been known to swing by for meat at the one in Raleigh because it's by the library, especially at times I'm sure the Whole Foods is zoo like but it's really not in the same league as WF or Weaver Street or Trader Joes. I'd be worried about their long-term prospects too but maybe I'm just a bit nostalgic for the good ol days when I lived in Chapel Hill and that little Harris Teeter was the only grocery in that area. Progress I suppose.

                  2. re: peetoteeto

                    Fresh Market & Earth fare have some overlapping customers, but still draw from very different demographics in most towns. EF has a natural foods focus, Fresh Market more of a gourmet product bent. The main problem with the Chapel Hill Earth Fare was it was not as well stocked as their usual stores (felt more like an organic convenience store) and people who were used to visiting their Asheville location were very disappointed. With such a well stocked WF so close how could they compete?