JACKSON TWP.  Stark County has a new place to shop for groceries. The Fresh Thyme Farmers Market store opened this past week. It’s located in the same plaza as PetSmart and Jo-Ann Fabrics at 5509 Dressler Rd. in Jackson Township.

Fresh Thyme’s Regional Marketing Coordinator Jeff Kraus said the store is a combination of a shopping styles for consumers. And, the company believes that it fits the Stark County market perfectly.

“We combine a weekend farmer’s market with the convenience of a neighborhood store, shopping with us is a way to nourish your body while your pocket book prospers,” Kraus said. “Shoppers will find our prices are highly competitive while we have a full line of products such as natural and organic products, prepared foods, fresh meat and seafood and a large bulk foods section. The majority of the store is fresh produce, meats and seafoods."

This is the first store in the Akron-Canton area. The chain has 65 stores throughout the Midwest, including 11 in Ohio. It’s corporate is in Downers Grove, Ill., a suburb of Chicago. The Jackson Township store is 28,000 square feet and will employ 100 full and part-time employees. The store manage is Diane Rhoads and assistant manager is Gary Locke.

“The Stark County area is a great market for us, it meets all of our demographics with a population that fits our type of store. I’m from the area and I know it’s a great community. We are all about healthy living and healthy values which is a great fit for the area,” Kraus said.

The store has a prepared foods department, a bakery, a café that serves sandwiches and other items, and a natural living section with soaps, essential oils and yoga supplies among other things. There will be educational seminars and other events that may include live music held throughout the year.

The company is committed to the communities they serve in a number of ways. Kraus said in addition to selling Sugardale hot dogs and ham, Sunny Slope apple butter and dairy items from Smith Dairy and Hartzler Family Dairy, the store will buy produce from local growers when possible. He also said the Fresh Thyme private label foods are all healthy and nutrition and available throughout the store.

The company also donated $2,500 to the North Canton City Schools and Jackson Local Schools as part of the ribbon cutting ceremony Sept. 12, one day before the grand opening. The company also donated sales from a Boar’s Head hotdog cart on Sept. 13 to support Stark Hunger Task Force.

“We are ecstatic to be here and glad to be serving Stark County. For me personally, I grew up on the west side of Massillon and I love being back in the area,” Kraus said.

For complete details including store hours, visit https://www.freshthyme.com/our-stores/.