2018 is already looking to be a promising year for the city of Muncie.

Muncie Mayor Dennis Tyler, the Muncie Redevelopment Commission, the Muncie-Delaware County Economic Development Alliance and Lauth Development ADM Commercial Real Estate have recently announced Fresh Thyme Farmer’s Market will be opening their first Muncie store.

Fresh Thyme Farmer’s Market, a grocery store chain with nearly 50 stores spread throughout the United States with 10 in Indiana, offers healthy, fresh and natural food in a farmer’s market type setting.

For more information on what Fresh Thyme has to offer, visit their website.

This store, to be located on McGalliard Road between Chick-fil-A and CaRite, will be approximately 28,000 square feet on 5 acres that will offer easy access and a connection to the Cardinal Greenway, according to a press release. This development will bring more than 80 new jobs with an average pay of $35,000 annually and a capital investment of $9.3 million.

Fresh Thyme plans to cultivate relationships with local schools, organizations and not-for-profit groups, according to the press release. Those plans are in line with the company’s belief that working together can make a difference in a community.

This initiative has been a part of Tyler’s plan to fix the food desert in the city’s northeast end.

Tyler worked with Todd Donati, director of the Muncie Redevelopment Commission, to find the lot that would make Fresh Thyme accessible from the Cardinal Greenway, according to the Star Press.

The store is set to open by early 2018. The chain will be competing with established grocery stores Marsh, Ruler Foods, Walmart, Aldi, Meijer and Target.