Grand opening festivities at The Fresh Market in Bedminster, in the location of the former A&P, were scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. with a “Cracking of the Parmesan,” a gourmet version of the traditional ribbon-cutting event, but the store still was full of customers almost 12 hours later.
Following months of renovations of the old store, Bedminster and the surrounding community proved "very welcoming" at Wednesday's opening, and beforehand, according to Sandy Glatter, regional director of operations at the store.
Samples of fresh foods and specialty gourmet items will continue to be given out through the week, Glatter said on Wednesday evening.
As bespeaks its name, The Fresh Market will have more fresh foods than the average supermarket and fewer of standard non-food items, she said.
The store's scheduled hours are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Mondays through Saturday, and from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays, Glatter said.
The day of opening activities included a free sample-sized bag of coffee and a free reusable shopping bag to the first 1,000 customers, food sampling stations from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and chef demonstrations from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., according to information from The Fresh Market.
The Fresh Market's newest location, the specialty food chain's second location in New Jersey, is at 75 Washington Valley Road, in the Somerset Hills Shopping Center on the corner of Route 202/206 in Bedminster.
Customers attending the grand opening can sign up for the store’s weekly "Fresh Ideas" e-mail and enter drawings for $100 The Fresh Market Gift Cards, according to information from The Fresh Market. Five drawings will be held for customers who register between Wednesday and this Sunday.
The new store encompasses about 22,100 square feet, the release said, including a bakery that produces 30 freshly baked breads and 14 different pie varieties daily, a full service meat counter with freshly ground beef, a wide selection of ready-to-serve entrées, fresh seafood delivered to the store several times per week, and more than 200 imported and domestic cheeses. A produce department with more than 400 items and a large organic selection, is part of the the market, the release said.