Fresh Market can be described by what it is not almost moreeasily than by what it is. It is not a gourmet food store, nor isit an organic food specialist, although it has products that can befound in both. And it is certainly not a supermarket. "There aremany things a supermarket carries that we don't," Blaesing says,citing pet foods and paper supplies, for example. "We're acomplement to a supermarket," he says.

During an ICSC Idea Exchange in Philadelphia recently Rob Koch,the company's real estate manager, described Fresh Market as a"specialty neighborhood grocery store with a strong focus on highquality perishables." The average store is 20,000 sf and includes abutcher shop, deli, bakery and fresh seafood, prepared foods, cutflowers, cheese, coffee, candy, wine and beer.

Asked to describe the company's demographic target, Blaesingbypasses the usual descriptions of age, income, and educationallevel, and says, "our customers are 'foodies,' people interested inthe whole eating, dining, entertaining aspect of food. Thesecustomers shop frequently and look for unique food items.

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