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May 17, 2012 06:49 AM

The Fresh Market beating Whole Foods to the punch, coming to Bedford next month

The Fresh Market opens 6/27 in the Kohls/Marshalls plaza right near the DWH/293 intersection.

For those of you unfamiliar w/The Fresh Market, because there are only 2 in all of NE so far -
It's kinda like a smaller, not as good, Whole Foods...

That sounds more disparaging than it is. Fresh Market is a good place. I'll happily settle for it as I wait for the mythical Whole Foods Nashua to materialize somewhere.

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  1. We stopped by Fresh Market yesterday and it's quite nice - good selection of produce, meats and deli. Way more upscale than other local supermarkets. We got some hand wrapped mozzarella, mettwurst, knockwurst, fresh kielbasa, a good looking bone in ribeye, and some beautiful peaches. Definitely worth a visit and a welcome addition to the local offerings.

    16 Replies
    1. re: whs

      Let me know how the fresh kielbasa & ribeye was whs. I did a trip there to check the place out on Thursday, & I scoped out the meat counter but the hubby was working this weekend so I didn't grab anything there. I did grab some fresh OJ (very good) & some Greater's strawberry chocolate chip ice cream (OUTSTANDING).

      1. re: southie_chick

        I wasn't particularly impressed. It seemed way more expensive than Whole Foods with a crummier selection especially the grocery items.

        1. re: southie_chick

          Market Basket actually carries Greater's ice cream's very good. How is their dairy section? Any good quality local offerings or just the usual brands?

          1. re: solargarlic

            Which Market Basket did you see Greater's at solar - hope it's the one in Nashua so it would save me the drive up to Bedford. If you like strawberries, try the strawberry chocolate chip - YUM!!!! : )

            1. re: southie_chick

              Just in case this ice cream is stocked at some but not all locations, keep in mind there is no "Nashua Market Basket." Because there are four of them.

              1. re: Dave B

                I go by ALL 4 of them, so they're all local to me! (Then again Dave, I drive 120 miles to my "local" clam shack a couple of times a year!) : )
                I'll try the ones closest to my house first (at Exit 8 & the one further up by Brusters). Went to Fresh Market tonite for some fresh OJ but they were all out of the strawberry chocolate chip - they had peach instead.

              2. re: southie_chick

                My husband picked it up in Milford...we just got vanilla (just for testing purposes ;) ). I would LOVE that strawberry chocolate chip though! My guess is that the Nashua stores, at least the one near Amherst, would have it. It's not often the Milford one features items the other stores don't carry.

            2. re: southie_chick

              The sausages were very good. Meat House in Bedford carries a better selection of butcher items and has better service. The benefit of Fresh Market is that it carries better quality items in one place. Case in point, the rotisserie chickens, of which there are four or five different varieties. The bread selection is quite good, and the dairy shelves have yogurt varieties that aren't featured at S&S or Hannaford.

              1. re: whs

                I was actually looking at the black pepper & 4 cheese bread tonite - have you tried any of the breads yet whs? I ended up getting a creme brule tonite for desert & it was pretty bad - it was more like a vanilla pudding (not solid / jelled at all).
                Wish Dutch Epicure was open - their creme brule is pretty good (& their cheese rolls are OUTSTANDING!!!).

            3. re: whs

              A few initial impressions.

              This is a fantastic addition to the Bedford food scene (such as it is). The produce is fresh - much nicer than Hannafords or Harvest Market - and the general food selections are appropriately upscale. Their sandwiches, while they take a while to make and once you actually get someone to pay attention to you behind that counter, are really good. Nice fresh fish (though still lamenting the closing of the fish market just over the boarder in Manch), though not sure how often they get deliveries. I asked the guy and he said every 2 to 3 days, but must have seen the look on my face and he quickly backtracked and said that the fish is always fresh and the stock is always rotating through (whatever that means).

              The wine selection isn't all that great, and the price-to-value/label is sort of offensive. For example, Pallazo Della Torre is about $4 more expensive than it should be (they're charging $26.99 or so), and Monte Antico (!) is similarly about $4 too expensive (they're charging $16.99 or so).

              Weird to have all that candy for sale too. A commentary on the local demographic?

              Also, I didn't see a lot of nice marbling in their steaks. Barely any, actually. For the time being I'm going to stick with the Meat House for steaks.

              Also, don't look up. The "country chic" decorations are awful.

              In sum, a really awesome addition - it's already a go-to for us - but a few things to work out, IMO.

              1. re: GyroBall

                It's clearly serving pent-up demand; the place was jammed. Whole Foods was really stupid not to come into the NH market.

                1. re: whs

                  Or not. We just don't know. WF has certain economic / investment hurdles, as well as a brand to maintain. If this demographic couldn't met the criteria they use to determine where to locate a new store - and clearly this is a carefully developed strategy (as it is for most companies) - then the decision to not come to this area was a good one.

                  A variety of criteria go into the decision: demographics (volume and concentration of target households), typical amount invested to maintain the brand versus projected sales, the distribution network and capacity, and other key indicators. I once read that the single best predictor of the success of a WF is its proximity to a medium to large sized college or university. That's lacking here.

                      1. re: GyroBall

                        The WF tease continues:


                        No specific location mentioned. This has been going on for quite a few years now . The Building 19 site doesn't seem to be in play, or maybe WF is just trying to drive down the price by waiting it out .

                        As for Fresh Market, I was underwhelmed to be honest. I was hoping for a decent fish replacement for the departed place in Manch, but it was very expensive and didn't seem to be much local stuff - previously frozen scallops for $19 a pound? And their prepared foods area was a lot smaller than I thought it would be.

                        1. re: Msample

                          Maybe they should think about going into the Merrimack outlet mall. The WF prepared foods section would be a great place to nosh while outlet shopping.

            4. Turns out this Fresh Market is a little smaller than most.
              The large candy selection is typical - not a commentary on the NH market.
              The steaks are USDA choice. I agree they < The Meat House. Everybody < The Meat House.
              The breads are a strong point, as is the herb stand,
              The grind-it-yoself PB comes out a little dry, Wegmans does this the best.

              And as a prior poster has noted - WF in Nashua IS happening. They've signed a lease, but aren't releasing the info publicly yet.

              I have to say, having moved (back) here from Cincinnati, I am surprised at the love for Graters ice cream I'm seeing on this thread. Of course Cincinnatians are convinced it's the greatest and that it is going to take over the world now that it's gone national. I was underwhelmed.

              1 Reply
              1. re: cringle22

                If WF has signed a lease, they are doing a good job at keeping it quiet, as I have heard nothing through my contacts in the area.

              2. I am a native New Englander in the Washington, DC/Northern Virginia area. We've had a Fresh Market for about a year. At first, I was very excited, but I wouldn't be sad to see it go away. I don't consider it a high quality market.

                Things I'm not fond of:
                -The bread and baked goods are stuffed with artificial ingredients. Yuk. I'm a sucker for good quality baked goods and i never buy them here. I might as well go to our local equivalent of Stop and Shop - same quality,
                -For a small, specialty market, they could do a better selection of prepared food.
                -Not all the meat is hormone free - they "stop" the hormones on the beef 90 days before.

                On the plus side:
                - Ours is easy and quick to get in and out of, so it makes it an upscale 7/11.
                - It's never crowded
                - Generally good fruits and vegetables (although the Rainier cherries I bought last weekend were bruised so badly i could barely eat them).