A new grocery store that promotes its organic selection and community partnerships will be opening in Muncie this week. 

Fresh Thyme Farmers Market will open Thursday at 7 a.m. in the 500 block of West McGalliard Road and the first 250 shoppers will receive a free bag of groceries, though participants must be 18 years or older to win.  

The full-service specialty grocer said in a press release that it carries organic food and local produce. 

“Fresh Thyme brings in a version of fresh and organic that utilizes local farms in a large convenient market,” said Todd Donati, director of the Muncie Redevelopment Commission.  “Fresh Thyme is also a community supporter cultivating relationships with schools, organizations and non-profit groups.  They have been a good partner to Muncie to this point and we expect this to continue for a long time.”

Dave Ring opened the Downtown Farm Stand in 2007 with his wife Sara to give local farmers a place to sell their products. 

While Dave said he doesn’t think Fresh Thyme opening will result in the Downtown Farm Stand closing, he still think it will hurt business. 

“In a small business, we are retail and we also have a restaurant, the profit margins are small,” Dave said. “So if we lose, 10 percent or 20 percent of our revenue to a corporate competitor, it’s pretty damaging. That can put a hurting on our future plans of expansion and things like that.”

And while Fresh Thyme may drive up competition within the area, Chris Sherrell, president and CEO of Fresh Thyme, said the company is committed to helping the area. 

“From stocking local products, hiring residents and partnering with nonprofits in the area, we are fully committed to serving the Muncie community as part of our family,” Sherrell said in a press release. “We’re looking forward to getting to know the community and encourage everyone in Muncie to come out and help us kick-off our family-friendly, Grand Opening celebration.”

In that spirit, a $2,500 donation will be given to Second Harvest Food Bank and Muncie Central High School. Fresh Thyme said the donations will be going toward a food pantry fund for students. The program is expected to begin in August. 

A Boar’s Head hot dog cart also will be at Fresh Thyme on Thursday and Saturday from noon to 4:00 p.m. The sales from the hot dog cart will be donated to the Muncie Public Library, according to the press release. 

Contact Andrew Smith with comments at ajsmith15@bsu.edu or on Twitter @AndrewSmithNews.