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PHOTOS: First Look at Fresh Market

The gourmet grocery chain opened its Towson location on Wednesday morning.

Here's a look at the new Fresh Market, which opened Wednesday morning in Dulaney Plaza.

The store offers salad, olive and seafood bars, a selection of self-serve snacks and candy, and 32 different kinds of coffee beans, with blends like molten chocolate, Kona and almond amaretto.

The store is the high-end chain's third to open in Maryland.

The supermarket contains few actual aisles. Instead, executives compare the open layout to old-world European markets.

"When you're standing in the store, you've got a pretty good sight line all the way across," said Brian Whitman, the chain's operations vice president.

Whitman said that though the economy is in a down period, it's the right time to open a gourmet store.

"We feel we've got a good niche," he said.

The store will host regular events, including chef demonstrations, samplings and sidewalk sales. On Friday from 3–7 p.m. and Saturday from 1–5 p.m., the store will host its Summer Harvest Fest, with samples and specials on ribs, pound cake, ice cream and other seasonal treats.

In addition, employees routinely ask customers if they would like to try samples.

"The employees are trained to sample anything a customer has interest with," Whitman said. "We try to do a real good job sampling the food because we're proud of it."

Lawrence Taubman, head of Taubman Properties, which owns Dulaney Plaza, said discussions to bring The Fresh Market in began before Super Fresh left the shopping center last year.

"I think it's exciting," he said, calling the chain "a new kind of grocery store."

Mark Shultise August 24, 2011 at 06:07 PM
Please note that if you purchase a "Kona Blend" anywhere expecting to taste Kona Coffee, you will be very disappointed. Kona blends usually contain only 10% Kona and 90% foreign fumigated coffees of inferior quality (that is why they don't tout where the 90% comes from). It is also why companies flavor the coffee to cover up the less-than-Kona taste. Real Kona does not need flavorings. The Hawaii Dept of Agriculture requires Kona blends sold in Hawaii to contain at least 10% Kona, while no other state or federal authority requires any Kona to be in the bag to be called Kona. Buyer beware. If you want Kona Coffee, buy only coffee marked 100% Kona. Laws do hold that if marked 100%the contents must be 100%.

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