The Fresh Market Prepares for its Grand Opening in Albemarle - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

The Fresh Market Prepares for its Grand Opening in Albemarle

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Business in Albemarle County is getting a fresh look. The Fresh Market will open its doors in the Albemarle Square Shopping Center, just a few miles away from the Shops at Stonefield.

"I don't think I could be any more excited about it. Definitely happy to be in Charlottesville; it's a great city," said Matt Cracraft, a store manager for The Fresh Market.

Employees have been working around the clock getting ready for The Fresh Market's big debut in Albemarle County.

"Virginia and Charlottesville in particular is just a really vibrant growing area. It's amazing to see how fast it's growing here and we're just excited to be part of that, I think it's the kind of community where people love great food," said Drewry Sackett, community relations manager at The Fresh Market.

The store shows its appreciation for the region even in its aisles, selling beer and wine products that are produced within 100 to 300 miles of the store.

The specialty grocer is the latest high-end retailer to make its way to the county; it comes on the heels of the Shops at Stonefield and in the midst of other projects including a Wegmans at the Fifth Street Shopping Center and a Gander Mountain.

"I think that the retail community obviously thinks this is a good place to be. We've been written up in a lot of publications as being a great place to retire, a great place for golf, great for education…to live and I think it must be gaining some traction with those people in these high-end stores," said Albemarle County Supervisor Ken Boyd.

While the growth gives a boost to real estate and sales tax revenue, will it hurt the traditional mom-and-pops? Boyd says not necessarily.

"I hear that it actually promotes mom-and-pop business, that when you have anchor stores then the smaller stores come because they get the traffic that comes along with it," Boyd said.

The store will officially open Wednesday at 9 a.m. Workers plan to give away shopping bags and offer free samples as well as chef demonstrations.

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