What draws people into Fresh Thyme Farmers Market in Fairview Heights, Illinois, is not just food and groceries, but what customers can do with it all in their own kitchens. From the gleaming produce (thoughtfully placed in the center of the store) to the grass-fed beef, house-stuffed sausages and freshly ground nut butters, it’s easy to find high-quality, natural foods, many of which are local, without breaking your budget.
The regional grocery chain opened the Fairview Heights location in January with a mission to specialize in natural foods. Organic produce is given just as much real estate as nonorganic (with little difference in price), and more than 400 bulk bins offer items ranging from red lentils to strawberry-covered pretzels, allowing customers to buy as little or as much as they want or need.
In addition to Fresh Thyme’s selection of bulk grains, beans and snacks, the store also features an impressive selection of bulk liquids. You might expect olive oil and vinegar, but soy sauce, maple syrup and liquid aminos? Local creamed honey and agave nectar are also available, just a short walk from where customers can grind their own nut butters, with spices and fair-trade coffee rounding out the bulk section.
In addition to selling fresh and local groceries, all of the serveware used in the store is compostable, and shoppers are encouraged to bring reusable shopping bags. Fresh Thyme also offers more than 1,500 gluten-free items and more than 8,200 vitamins, supplements and body-care items, making the store a destination for those seeking a sustainable, full-service shopping experience.
Three Must-Trys at Fresh Thyme Farmers Market
| 1 | Not only does Fresh Thyme offer honey in bulk, the store also stocks local creamed honey from L&P Apiary in Belleville, Illinois. Creamed honey is ideal for spreading and is the perfect match for the store’s fresh-ground nut butters (peanut, almond and even cashew).
| 2 | Fresh bread, like the sea salt-caramel-pecan loaf, and pizza crust, including a gluten-free option, are made in-house daily, and are featured in the front of the store – the robust aroma draws customers in from the parking lot.
| 3 | Make your own six-pack with Fresh Thyme’s variety of craft beer, including 4 Hands Brewing Co.’s Alter Ego black IPA or the latest release from Schlafly Beer. Fresh Thyme doesn’t sell liquor, but a well-thought-out wine selection rounds out the store’s alcohol section.
Fresh Thyme Farmers Market, 6569 N. Illinois St., Fairview Heights, Illinois, 618.230.7000, freshthyme.com
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