The Fresh Market opens at Bradley Fair in Wichita

06/20/2012 5:00 AM

06/20/2012 4:57 PM

Rather than cut a ribbon, the Fresh Market officially marked its opening Wednesday morning by splitting open a wheel of high-end parmesan cheese.

The Greensboro N.C.-based chain opened its first Kansas store at Bradley Fair, near 21st and Rock Road, in the former Ultimate Electronics space.

It’s the 117th Fresh Market store; the chain operates in 22 states, mostly in the eastern half of the United States.

The grocery store is a haven for foodies, with barrels of roasted coffee beans, a large array of freshly baked goods, gourmet prepared foods and the chain’s signature: piles of beautiful fresh fruits and vegetables.

“The produce is amazing,” said Wichitan Jackie Comfort, who labeled the store “fabulous.”

Her friend, Cara Gearhardt, had recently moved to Wichita from central California and hadn’t found a store in Wichita yet that equaled the kinds of stores there, especially for organic produce.

That is, until she got to the Fresh Market.

“I think I could come here every day to do my grocery shopping,” she said.

George Laham, the developer of Bradley Fair, said the store is a perfect fit for the upscale shopping center.

“It’s just what people have been waiting for,” he said.

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