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Anyone familiar with the fresh market chain? coming to latham,ny

davmar77 May 26, 2010 01:12 PM

we have one coming to latham,ny and i'm hoping it will bridge the gap of not having trader joes or whole foods in the area. anyone here been to one of them?

http://www.thefreshmarket.com/

  1. r
    rolise May 27, 2010 12:32 PM

    They are not really around here. I think I heard that Top Chef Miami shopped at the Miami location though.

    1. jaylhorner May 27, 2010 12:53 PM

      More like Whole Foods than Trader Joe's. Nice gourmet store.

      1 Reply
      1. re: jaylhorner
        r
        rockycat Jun 3, 2010 11:12 AM

        Fortunately, NOT like Whole Foods at all. For one thing, their prices are a lot more rational. In some cases, although not all, their prices are similar to the local supermarkets. Also, FM does not pretend to be a healthy, organic, superior-to-thou, health(y) food store.
        I hesitate to call them "gourmet" but they are definitely a cut or two above the average supermarket. I use them mostly for the butcher counter and bulk bins. I've never been too happy with their prepared food, but then again, I rarely like anyone's prepared food. The bakery's okay, nothing too special but the produce and candy sections can be nice.

        A good addition to the area. It won't supplant your regular market, but a nice place to stop into occasionally.

      2. g
        grouper May 27, 2010 05:48 PM

        It's a great gourmet market. Lots of prepared foods, specialty cheese's, good bakery (although I'm not sure how much is made on site), good meats and nice produce section. Plan to spend the same amount of cash as you would at Whole Foods. They provide a nice atmosphere to shop...classical music, etc.
        I always stop at one when in Florida and pick up coffee. We had two here in Michigan, that I know of, and both have closed. In the Detroit area it was poor placement. The store was on a street that already had two popular higher end markets.
        Stop in, it's a pleasant experience if nothing else.

        1 Reply
        1. re: grouper
          p
          PhillyA May 27, 2010 05:51 PM

          It's been years since I lived near one/shopped there regularly, but I loved it. Good choice.

        2. m
          mpjmph May 28, 2010 06:28 AM

          Definitely closer to Whole Foods than Trader Joe's. Most of the regular grocery items are brands you can find in average supermarkets, but with a higher mark up. The FM butcher counter is amazing though - higher quality and better service than most stores. They will happily trim, cut, and wrap things just the way you want. They will special order specific cuts if not in stock. The prepared foods and baked goods are reasonably good. The deli selection is average, but service is very good. The floral selection is usually very nice with custom arrangement services, they will even use your own vase/container if you bring it in.

          The stores are designed for a shopping "experience" - soft lighting, hard wood floors and shelving, bulk foods in oak barrels, elaborate displays of seasonal items... It can be a pleasant place to shop at non-peak times, but a madhouse on weekends and down right terrifying around the holidays.

          2 Replies
          1. re: mpjmph
            davmar77 May 28, 2010 07:01 AM

            considering the alternatives, i am looking forward to the opening. i used to shop at whole foods on long island but since we moved upstate we only make the occasional trip tp central mass. to traders and whole foods. it's over 100 miles away and still the closest locations of both.

            1. re: mpjmph
              v
              Val May 28, 2010 05:13 PM

              I will agree with mp here...FM's meat counter is pretty damned good...I don't use red meat very much anymore...but when I need good-quality lamb shoulder for lamb stew, they are my go-to. They do have nice gift ideas for holiday time, I will also say that for them.

            2. e
              Erika RollerGirl May 30, 2010 05:57 PM

              Apparently I will be the lone dissenter here (as I have been in a previous Fresh Market thread on this site as well, just for full disclosure). Fresh Market is a joke. I live in Raleigh, NC where we have a lovely looking Fresh Market store. It's all about the atmosphere and the fairly extensive prepared foods section and *not* at all about high quality ingredients. For anyone who has said it was close to a Whole Foods - have you actually attempted to buy any organic food there? There is very little organic produce and slim to no organic/free range meats but the price tags make you think you're paying for superior product. It's ridiculous. I went in there looking for ingredients to make a short rib dish once when I first moved to the area and spoke with a clerk as to where I could find ingredients in their store and he assured me that "most of the people who shop at Fresh Market don't actually know how to cook". That's not what I look for in a grocery store. I want a place that actually carries ingredients with which to cook. I was hoping to find higher end specialty items and all I found were higher prices.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Erika RollerGirl
                danna Jun 3, 2010 01:30 PM

                I'm going to help you dissent. i was thrilled to abandon shopping at Fresh Market when WF came to town. FM is no less expensive than WF, in fact is is MORE expensive for lots of items. It is true that the meat counter is superior to basic supermarkets (you can get no-antibiotic chicken and you can get meats cut for you) as is the cheese counter. They also have more gourmet items like Peets coffee, Godiva chocolate and bulk bins of nut mixes and spices. It's the kind of place where if you need rice, you're going to pay through the nose for some fancy "blend". Produce is decent, but no better than a regular market and more expensive. For some reason, they like to stock apples the size of melons.

                So...if your town has nothing but basic supermarkets, then you're in for a treat. But if you can get to WF, you should. I actually had no idea FM was now so far-flung. Perhaps the prepared foods and deli are better elsewhere, but I won't eat any of that stuff from the ones near me. And finally, I hope others have better management, because around here, they have snotty attitudes and frequently out-of date product on the shelf.

                1. re: danna
                  davmar77 Jun 4, 2010 07:40 AM

                  the closest whole foods to us is down the block from the closest trader joes, over 100 miles away.

                  1. re: davmar77
                    danna Jun 7, 2010 06:18 AM

                    sounds like us, 4 years ago. I live in fear that Whole Foods will realize the error of it's ways and close up in Greenville SC.

                    On the other hand, I'm a lot broke-er now ;-)

                    I do hope you enjoy your Fresh Market, and that they don't send you any management from G'ville to "help" with start up.

              2. b
                beachmouse Jun 1, 2010 11:08 AM

                They're a premium grocer whose strategy seems to be to go into places that Whole Foods thinks is too small to bother with or just isn't quite the right location. Not as good as Whole Foods, IMO, but useful for those things you can't seem to find elsewhere and we've had good luck with their produce lately, even if most of it is 'conventional' and not organic. Also good for cheeses if you don't have a local cheesemonger.

                1. n
                  Nocturnalbill Jun 1, 2010 02:59 PM

                  Based out of Greensboro, NC; mostly good for meats and fish. Definitely high priced. There are occasional deals though.

                  1. rifkind81 Jun 3, 2010 01:50 PM

                    I paid a few visits to the Westport, CT location and was floored by the high prices. Sure the produce looked good. They have an excellent candy/coffee counter with barrells of delicious treats. But the prices were crazy!! I chalked it up to being Westport. There is a Whole Foods and Westport too, so now I just keep driving past Fresh Market.

                    1. s
                      SaratogaFoodie Aug 20, 2010 03:30 AM

                      Davmar, I visited FM yesterday and was pleasantly surprised and impessed. I'm a big WF fan, but it seems we'll never have one in this area, so FM is a good alternative and I honestly didn't find the prices too different from our regional grocery chain. There was a big line at the butcher counter and the meats looked terrific. Ditto the fresh fish. I'm pretty relieved as I have not been able to get decent fish anywhere in the Saratoga Springs area.

                      PS, thought the TU review in yesterday's paper was fairly hostile -- what gives?

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