Downers Grove, Ill.-based Fresh Thyme Farmers Market accomplished some big things over the past few years, and it’s just beginning to settle in for more growth in 2018.

Having just completed the conversion to self-distribution, the 66-store chain is optimistic about its steady growth plan over the next few years.

“From acquisitions and mergers to shifting consumer habits, 2017 was marked by significant changes, and the grocery and food retail industries continue to be ever-evolving,” said Chris Sherrell, CEO, in a news release. “We enjoy the challenge this brings and work hard to continuously improve our shopping experience.”

Here’s a recap of Fresh Thyme’s numbers, since it opened in 2014:

  • 5,000 total employees;
  • 66 stores;
  • 20 new stores in 2017;
  • 10 new stores planned for 2018;
  • 1,000 SKUs of private labels; and
  • Nine states, with the 10th – Pennsylvania – expected in 2018.

“As a three-years-young company, we’re extremely proud of our 5,000 employees and the communities we serve throughout the Midwest,” Sherrell said. “Over the past year, we’ve made significant hires at the executive level, further developed our private label offerings and continued to support the organizations that matter most to our communities. We’re excited for 2018 and all that is in store.”

In addition to Carol Okamoto as chief financial officer, Fresh Thyme also added Mark Doiron as chief merchandising officer, Dean Little as chief operations officer, Amy Parker as vice president and Art Scott as senior director.

The company also added in-house registered dietitians in 2017, and developed programs to educate customers on healthy lifestyles in 2017.

And don’t forget Scott Schuette, the company’s vice president of produce. Read all about Schuette, a former Produce Retailer of the Year, in his Packer 25 profile here.

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