The competition among specialty grocers is heating up along 146th Street, where startup Fresh Thyme Farmers Market is planning a store less than two miles from sector stalwarts Whole Foods and The Fresh Market.
Local developer Lauth Group Inc. is seeking Westfield Advisory Plan Commission’s approval of plans for a 29,000-square-foot Fresh Thyme in the Bridgewater Center, at the northeast corner of 146th Street and Carey Road.
The three-acre site is located north of a 21st Amendment liquor store now under construction there. A Ricker’s gas station and convenience store also is planned for the small retail center at 3400 E. 146th St.
Phoenix-based Fresh Thyme, which describes itself as a cross between a farmers market and a full-service grocery store, plans to open 60 stores over the next five years as it tries to bag a share of the increasingly popular high-end grocery sector.
Its closest competitors are The Fresh Market, which has a Westfield store a half-mile west of Carey Road at 2490 E. 146th St., and Whole Foods, which has a Carmel location less than a mile from there at 14598 Clay Terrace Blvd.
Fresh Thyme’s first central Indiana location opened in June on U.S. 31 north of the Greenwood Park Mall.
The upstart grocer also plans to open two stores in Indianapolis' north side this month. Locations at 4225 E. 82nd St. and 2342 W. 86th St. are slated to open Sept. 25.
As IBJ reported in July, Fresh Thyme also is eyeing a location on 116th Street in Fishers, where it would anchor a commercial development just east of Hoosier Road—about two miles from The Fresh Market.