The Fresh Market Opens in Nags Head
By Kip Tabb –
If you are The Fresh Market and your specialty is food, why cut a ribbon at your grand opening? It makes far more sense to bring out a gigantic wheel of Parmigiano-Reggiano–one of the finest cheeses in the world–crack it open and declare your store ready for the public.
At least that seems to be the corporate philosophy at The Fresh Market grand opening in Nags Head this morning. As Marc Jones, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Merchandising, said, “You can’t eat the ribbon after you’ve cut it.”
The latest national supermarket to find its way to the Outer Banks offers a different kind of shopping experience. The Fresh Market concentrates on food. This is the place to go for a true gourmet pizza that can be popped in the oven for a convenient meal; or organically raised, hormone free tenderloin beef for a special dinner. Paper towels and laundry detergent? Not part of the mix here.
The store was packed when the doors opened at 8:00 a.m, and everything from samples of coffee to French toast with bacon was available for customers–the bacon was especially good.
Other national chains have attempted to crack the Outer Banks market, not always successfully. When asked about the seasonal nature of business in a resort area, Brian Whitman, northern zone VP for the company, noted the company understands the market. “We’ve got quite a bit of experience,” he said. “We’ve got stores all the way into the Miami market. It’s not an easy thing to manage, but we’ve got experience at managing it.”
The morning though, was about introducing The Fresh Market philosophy to the Outer Banks, and it seemed to go well. A lot of shoppers filled the aisles, the samples were delicious and there were smiles all around. “It’s a good start this morning,” Whitman said.