The Fresh Market | Jobs, Benefits, Business Model, Founding Story

The Fresh Market Inc (“Fresh Market”) seeks to support local growers and charitable organisations, while also offering the freshest and most delicious food and grocery products to its customers in the US.

Fresh Market was founded by Ray and Beverly Berry in March 1982 in Greensboro, North Carolina.

They devoted all of their combined savings to developing the project, their intention being to provide a grocery experience for consumers inspired by European style open markets that brings back the charm of a local market.

The Berrys found success with its new grocery business, opening a second location in 1983 in Asheville, North Carolina, and a third location in South Carolina in 1985.

During the 1980s and 1990s, the company continued to expand its operations, offering additional services, including a bakery, and opening a number of new outlets, including in Tennessee, Georgia, Virginia, Florida, and Kentucky.

By 2005 the company controlled a network of 53 stores across the US. Fresh Market continued to increase its reach in the 2000s, opening stores in Louisiana, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Mississippi.

In 2010, Fresh Market listed on the NASDAQ, raising around USD 290 million in its initial public offering. The company, however, was acquired in 2016 by Apollo Global Management and delisted from the NASDAQ. Fresh Market has continued to grow and today operates a network of more than 160 locations across 22 US states.

Business model of The Fresh Market

Customer Segments

Fresh Market serves the general consumer population in the US.

The company’s core customer base comprises consumers on the following demographics:

  • Older Consumers, the largest portion of the company’s consumers being over the age of 55, and a significant portion of its customer base being over the age of 45;
  • Higher Income Households, comprising affluent consumers with household incomes of more than USD 80,000, the company also being particularly popular among consumers with household incomes of USD 125,000 or more; and
  • College Educated Consumers, the company’s services being more popular among college-educated consumers than among those without college degrees.

Fresh Market serves customers in the US, across 22 states. The company does not appear to have any international operations.

Value Propositions

Fresh Market provides value to its customers in the following ways:

  • Brand Image and Experience – Fresh Market has a positive brand image that is popular among its target customer base and offers grocery shopping experience that is different to many other grocery chains in the US;
  • Fresh Local Produce – Fresh Market aims to differentiate itself from competitors by offering fresh produce from local or regional growers, making it a popular choice among those who wish to support local commerce;
  • National Reach – Fresh Market operates a network of more than 160 locations across 22 US states, making its services available to a large portion of the US consumer population;
  • Accessibility and Convenience – In addition to operating a network of retail stores, Fresh Market makes its products and services available to consumers through an online ordering and delivery service for added convenience; and
  • Charity and Community – Fresh Market works with local charities and social projects to help support local communities.


Fresh Market primarily serves its customers through its network of retail outlets across the US.

The company currently operates more than 160 stores spanning 22 states across the Southeast, Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast US. The company’s stores are staffed by sales and support personnel who provide in-person service to customers directly.

In addition to its retail outlets, Fresh Market also operates an online grocery ordering and delivery service through its website at

This service allows customers to browse products, make purchases, and arrange home deliveries on a self-service basis.

Customer Relationships

Fresh Market provides services directly to its customers, its in-store sales personnel interacting personally with customers to assist in their shopping experience, responding to queries, handling complaints, and providing guidance.

The company seeks to establish lasting relationships with its customers through this high quality services, as well as through its various deals, discounts, and special offers

As noted above, Fresh Market operates a website at, through which it hosts its online ordering platform.

  The company also uses its website to provide its customers with information on its various store locations, its products, its suppliers, and its departments. The company additionally provides recipes and meal preparation tips through its website’s ‘Inspiration’ section.

Fresh Market operates a dedicated customer support team, which operates out of the company’s offices and provides personalised support to customers over the phone and online.

The company is also able to communicate directly with customers through its various social media accounts, including with LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube, through which it is additionally able to address customer concerns.

Key Activities

Fresh Market operates as a specialty grocery retailer in the US. The company offers various food products, focusing primarily on fresh perishable product categories, including meat, seafood, produce, deli, bakery, floral, sushi, and prepared foods.

It also provides products in non-perishable product categories, including traditional grocery, frozen, and dairy products, as well as bulk food products, coffee and candy, beer, and wine.

The company operates a network of more than 160 retail outlets across the US, spanning 22 states in the Southeast, Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast states. Fresh Market was founded in 1982 and is headquartered in Greensboro, North Carolina. It was formerly publicly listed but in 2016 was taken private.

Key Partners

Fresh Market works closely with a network of partner companies and organisations in the US that support the company’s core operations.

These partners can be organised broadly into the following categories:

  • Supplier and Vendor Partners, comprising suppliers of grocery items and local food and dairy producers who provide products for sale across the company’s network of stores, as well as third-party providers of services that support the company’s corporate activities more broadly;
  • Distribution and Logistics Partners, comprising delivery, distribution, and logistics partners that help the company to operate its distribution and home delivery activities effectively and efficiently;
  • Community and Social Partners, comprising a range of non-profit and charitable organisations with which the company collaborates on various community and social projects, primarily in the support of local communities; and
  • Branding and Marketing Partners, comprising a range brands, companies, and marketing agencies that assist the company on the implementation of marketing and brand development schemes and with which the company collaborates on in-store marketing projects.

Fresh Market has launched a number of partnerships in recent years.

This includes community and charity partnerships with organisations such as No Kid Hungry, Feeding America, and the American Red Cross.

The company also has partnerships with Kosher International Network and On Ideas.

Key Resources

The success of Fresh Market’s business model is dependent on its ability to effectively source good quality local produce and operate an efficient network of retail outlets.

As such, the company’s key resources are its network of physical retail outlets across the US, its suppliers and supply chain – in particular its local partners, its online ordering and delivery platform, its IT and communications, its partnerships, and its personnel.

Fresh Market notably owns or leases and operates more than 160 stores across the US and controls significant distribution infrastructure that is key to its successful operation.

The company’s sales and customer support personnel are also essential in maintaining the company’s brand image and reputation.

Cost Structure

Fresh Market incurs costs in relation to the procurement of grocery supplies and local produce, the procurement of third-party services, the operation of its network of stores – including occupancy and utility costs, the management of its partnerships, the payment of salaries and benefits to its employees, the operation and maintenance of its distribution infrastructure, and the maintenance and development of its IT and communications infrastructure.

Fresh Market is a privately owned company and as such it is not obliged to publish its financial results, including its costs, online.

Figures from 2016 suggest that the company recorded total cost of goods sold for the year totaling USD 1.22 billion.

Revenue Streams

Fresh Market generates revenue through the operation of physical grocery outlets and online grocery sales in the US.

The company principally derives its revenue in the form of sales at its retail outlets and through its online ordering and delivery service.

As a privately owned company, Fresh Market does not disclose its revenue figures online.

Figures from 2016, when the company was publicly listed, suggest that the company generated annual revenue in the amount of USD 1.86 billion up marginally on the USD 1.75 billion recorded by the company the previous year.


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