This State Has More The Fresh Market Locations Than Any Other

produce section at store
produce section at store - mokjc/Shutterstock

If you happen to reside in the eastern part of the United States, you've likely been through The Fresh Market, a grocery store that offers what it calls an "intimate and personalized shopping experience" to customers who are lucky enough to live near one of its locations. The Fresh Market opened its first store in 1982 in Greensboro, North Carolina. According to the company's website, original owners Ray and Beverly Berry took a trip to Europe and were immediately in awe of the ambiance that the open market style provided for shoppers. The couple decided to model their own grocery store after these markets, trading the typical fluorescent lights and tall steel shelves for calming classical music, quality foods, and good service.

Since then, the store has expanded to 162 locations across the eastern half of the country and has made a name for itself as a relaxing place to shop for specialty goods and fresh groceries. In 2023, The Fresh Market was named the "Best Grocery Store" by USA Today's 10Best Readers' Choice Awards for a third year. While the curated grocery store chain began in North Carolina, it is another southern state that is home to the most Fresh Market locations. Floridians rejoice — 30% of The Fresh Market stores (48 total), are in the state of Florida. The Fresh Market has more locations in the Sunshine State than Whole Foods (30) and Sprouts (35), two major grocery chains that The Fresh Market is often compared to.

Read more: The Best Grocery Store In Every State

Is The Fresh Market Considered A High-End Grocery Store?

Shopper smelling fruit at a grocery store
Shopper smelling fruit at a grocery store - Violetastoimenova/Getty Images

With rising inflation affecting prices and spending habits in recent years, many people are paying more attention to where they shop for groceries. While The Fresh Market's price points may not give it a reputation for breaking the bank like Whole Foods, which was once named the most expensive grocery store, The Fresh Market is definitely not a bargain grocery store. The chain offers a wide range of organic meats and fresh produce, imported ingredients, and prepackaged family meals made in-house. Its inventory and European design may initially seem enticing in big cities where fine dining is the norm, but location data informs us that The Fresh Market has opted to bring an elevated shopping experience to more suburban areas.

Fans of the grocery store chain brag about the high quality produce, meat, and fancy goods. While the shelving layout and ambiance are appealing, some people may find it difficult to do their regular grocery shopping at The Fresh Market. One writer from Vice visited the store for themselves, reporting, "I got so distracted by the surprises on every aisle that I quickly gave up trying to buy groceries for the whole week." The Fresh Market is definitely the place to search for cheese and chocolate pairings for your next charcuterie board, but doing all of your weekly shopping there may cost a bit more and take a tad longer as you weave through specialty baked goods and imported cooking oils.

Read the original article on The Daily Meal.