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New Grocery Store Jammed on Opening Day at Bradlee Center

The aisles were crowded on the opening day for The Fresh Market in Alexandria. The store takes the place of the old Giant store.

The check-out lanes were packed Wednesday on opening day at The Fresh Market in Alexandria. Photo by Mary Ann Barton
The check-out lanes were packed Wednesday on opening day at The Fresh Market in Alexandria. Photo by Mary Ann Barton
The parking lot outside the new Fresh Market grocery store was packed to the gills Wednesday with salt-stained cars that had traveled through the slush to Bradlee Shopping Center in Alexandria.

The shopping center has been without a grocery store since last June, when the "Little Giant" closed after being in business in the same spot for 59 years.  The new store, at 3680 King St., is about as different as the quaint old Giant store as you can get.

Residents in the area have been without their "regular" nearby grocery stores — with the Safeway next door undergoing an $11 million "re-construction," a Magruders on Van Dorn closing, as well as another Giant closing on Beauregard. 

Wednesday, The Fresh Market opened at 8 a.m. with a pretty good-sized crowd but it was the after-school bunch, rolling in between 3-4 p.m., that really crowded the aisles. People were lined up at the registers, and strolling the store, sampling everything from coffee to chutney and examining items in each aisle, classical music wafting through the air.

It's the 152nd store for the chain, which is headquartered in Greensboro, N.C.

The Alexandria store is open, airy and bright and offers loads of choices for cheeses, coffee, wine, meats and bread. The Fresh Market was running a special on baby back ribs, at $3.99 per pound, and apple pies for $4.99. 

What it doesn't have? No visible magazine racks. No sort of "loyalty program" card, where you get gas points (like Giant and Safeway) or discounts. "That way, everyone pays the same price," an employee said at the register. They do accept coupons. 

Store hours are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays.

You can keep up with The Fresh Market on their Facebook page here.

Got a news tip? Please send it to Mary Ann Barton at: MaryAnn.Barton@Patch.com


Patty Solimene Collins February 02, 2014 at 08:04 AM
Although convenient, their prices are insane! Many items are cheaper at Whole Foods and that is pretty high end. I'll stick with a longer trip to Safeway and Trader Joe's rather than solicit this market. I had higher expectations.

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