dbiles@aikenstandard.com


Aiken residents soon will have a new place where they can pick up vegetables, meat, cheese and other groceries. The Fresh Market’s grand opening is scheduled for 9 a.m. on Wednesday in the South Park Shopping Center on Whiskey Road.


Activities at the new gourmet supermarket that day will include chef demonstrations, outdoor grilling and drawings for gift certificates. The first 1,000 customers will receive a sample-size bag of the store’s gourmet coffee. The first 2,000 will get a reusable shopping bag.


The Aiken store, which covers more than 19,700 square feet, will be the sixth Fresh Market in South Carolina. The sites of the Palmetto State’s other stores are Columbia, Greenville, Hilton Head, Pawley’s Island and Spartanburg.


Ray and Beverly Berry opened The Fresh Market’s first store in Greensboro, N.C., in March 1982. There are more than 120 Fresh Markets in more than 20 states. The stores are designed to resemble European-style markets. More than 400 produce items are available at each grocery and each also has an in-store bakery that produces more than 30 kinds of freshly baked bread and 14 varieties of pies.


Aiken’s Fresh Market is bringing approximately 90 new jobs to the area. Some positions are still open and applications can be completed online at www.careers.thefreshmarket.com/.


The operating hours for the store will be 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday. Its address is 1400 Whiskey Road.