That Mall is sick and that Store is dead!

March 26, 2008

Farm Fresh Grand Opening in Franklin

Filed under: Farm Fresh,franklin,store profiles — Anita @ 9:57 pm

So, the Farm Fresh FINALLY opened today. Two years in the making.

Farm Fresh (October, 2007)

{photo I took in October of last year}

I was planning on being there right when they opened at 8 a.m., but I pulled up…NO parking spots. Line around the outside of the store. I honestly didn’t think people out here would take this opening that seriously. I was wrong!

So I came back at 9 a.m. — another bad time. People were just standing around waiting for the five $100 gift card drawings. I walked around, mainly around the beverage aisles, since I love the fact that Farm Fresh has a vast array of beverages. I took some iPhone photos:

Farm Fresh Grand Opening 1

Look at all that Honest tea!

The “Vitamin Water” cooler has … Life Water in it though. fail.

Farm Fresh Grand Opening 2

They had Nantucket Nectars half and half!!! I’ve never had that before! I’ve only heard about it in Babysitters Club books!

Look at all that Inkos tea too.

I’m surprised Enviga is still being made.

Farm Fresh Grand Opening 4

oooo Big Cranberry Nantucket Nectars and Jolt. Sorry that picture didn’t come out right. I took it in a hurry.

Farm Fresh Grand Opening 5

I was standing in LINE. HERE. I was in line for an hour. The line didn’t even more until the final 20 minutes I was in line. This was next to the makeup, and the lady in front of me started to play with this pump of glitter gel and she got it all over her hands. Farm Freshes aisle descriptions are always odd. Like the first three signs make sense, you know a general description of what is on the line, and then the last line is totally way too much detail — in this case, Vagasil.

You can see Starbucks in the distance. Ok, so after being in line for an hour, I went to Starbucks, where there was only one woman ahead of me. Boy, the baristas need more training. The “handlers” from other Farm Freshes had to help them with everything. You would’ve thought they would’ve handled this last week.

Which brings me to my second visit to Farm Fresh later on this day, at around 4 p.m. MUCH quieter than it was this morning. Like a normal day in a grocery store. I had more time to explore around the store. I found this!

Farm Fresh Grand Opening 6

This little guy used to be on the farm fresh logo back in the day when I was a little kid. I still remember vividly a jar of Peanut Butter we bought when I was like four, with a drawing of him on the label.

//edit, August 8, 2008//

Here is a blog entry about the making of one of these guys

So like I said, I went back to Starbucks after class and workstudy, because I wanted something to drink on my long drive home (50 minutes). They totally forgot about my order. One of the handlers had to make me my drink. I don’t think this Starbucks is going to be so great. We’ll see.

So like the article under the cut says, this store has NO plastic bags. I think this is a good idea because I used to be a bagger at The Fresh Market and I hated bagging in plastic, it was always so messy. I hate it when we go to Wal Mart and we have to put all our stuff in my Xterra, and its flopping around everywhere because its bagged in plastic. The store was giving away reusable grocery bags this morning, I got one. I don’t know how the general public is going to deal with no plastic bags. These paper bags are different than the usual ones Farm Fresh has, no handles, no logo.

Other than the iffy service at Starbucks, I can’t wait to shop in this store on a regular basis. It feels so nice to have a um, nice store in Franklin–and it was before I graduated. I always thought that Farm Fresh wasn’t going to open until after I graduated.

Tidewater News article:

Farm Fresh open for business

By Paul McFarlane/editor/
Wednesday, March 26, 2008 9:08 AM EDT

FRANKLIN-Shoppers arrived early today and formed a line that extended around the new Farm Fresh on Armory Drive, waiting to be among the first to shop at the store.

There were giveaways and door prizes available when the doors opened shortly before 8 a.m.

After brief comments by Fresh Fresh President and Chief Operating Officer Ron Dennis, Franklin Mayor Jim Councill and Southampton County Board of Supervisors member Anita Felts, the ceremonial ribbon was cut, and the doors were officially open.

The final items were put on the shelves on Tuesday. But one item the Franklin store will not stock is plastic bags for its customers. Instead, shoppers can get paper bags for their groceries, or buy a reuseable green bag. It is the first Farm Fresh store to open without using plastic bags.

The use of plastic bags has been an environmental issue of late.

Farmers have complained how the bags, when littered, blow into their fields and get stuck in their equipment, which creates stoppages in their work or contaminates their harvest.

The issue was discussed in this year’s session of the General Assembly, although no definitive action was taken.

“This should be an ideal market to test this,” said Bill Parker, vice president of the Virginia Beach-based company. “It’s the right thing to do.”

Parker said on Tuesday that customers will determine whether the move to non-plastic bags is successful.

“We think it will work well,” Parker said. “We hope it will work well.”

The reuseable bag sells for $1.99 and customers get a 5-cent discount for using the bag. In addition, 5 cents goes to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation each time the bag is used.

The 57,000-square-foot Farm Fresh facility is the second major retailer to open on Armory Drive in five months. Lowe’s home improvement store opened in late November.

It becomes the third supermarket on Armory Drive – across the highway from Wal-Mart’s super store and within sight distance of Food Lion.

“Farm Fresh has been looking at Franklin for a long time and decided to incorporate this site into the vast expansion plan for the northeast North Carolina markets,” Farm Fresh President and COO Ron Dennis said during a January meeting of the Franklin Rotary Club. “When we look at expansion, we don’t just look at the direction from point A to point B; we explore ‘fanning out’ to encompass the needs of other consumers in the immediate areas.”

As part of the store’s grand opening ceremony, Farm Fresh made a $5,000 donation in a partnership with Milk-Bone to the Southampton County Sheriff’s Office to be used toward the purchase of a new police dog.

In addition, $500 donations were made to Center of Hope and New Beginnings, Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Virginia, Graz’n Acres Therapeutic Riding Center, Cooperative Ministry, Franklin/Southampton Office of Early Childhood and American Cancer Society Relay for Life.

Farm Fresh also distributed $500 donations from Coca Cola to YMCA Black Achievers Program, Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia Kids Café Program (for the Boys & Girls Club) and United Way Franklin-Southampton area.


  1. Thanks for the pics, the first person and the article.

    I haven’t been in Franklin in well, decades. But it’s cool that Farm Fresh in hanging in there with WalMart Superstores and Food Lion.

    But careful of that advance shock force of Starbucks. Once they get things straight, expect some serious caffeine hegemony.

    Comment by Kevin Seward — March 26, 2008 @ 10:35 pm | Reply

  2. Nope, service still stinks there. They forgot my brownie today, so I ended up paying $4.95 FOR A CUP OF COFFEE.

    Comment by Anita — April 1, 2008 @ 3:04 pm | Reply

  3. Franklin must be excited to have a 21st century supermarket. Certainly fills the void left by Winn-Dixie’s departure. Starbuck’s is likely operated by Farm Fresh itself rather than Starbuck’s, so some issues may be greater than at the typical Starbucks.

    Given the size of Franklin, the Farm Fresh is definately a coup. Is Franklin experiencing suburban growth from the Hampton Roads area?

    Gotta love those aisle directories-TMI, do they really think that most shoppers need Vagisil on the directory with feminine hygiene?

    Comment by Ken Dillard — April 15, 2008 @ 2:39 am | Reply

  4. As a former employee of Farm Fresh (Starbucks), I would like to excuse the bad starbucks service but I have opened a store and its really hard because there all brand new and im sure it was harder to open that store because there no starbucks near to train at… See I trained at another Farm Fresh location… Anyway im sure it will get better and if not 3months fill out a comment card farm fresh really pays attention to those! GOOD LUCK FARM FRESH IN FRANKLIN

    Comment by Crystal S — May 10, 2008 @ 9:06 pm | Reply

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