MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – A new gourmet grocery store opened its doors in Myrtle Beach Wednesday. The Fresh Market is a specialty grocery store that carries groceries, produce, wine and has a deli and bakery. Consumers even have the option to buy in bulk.
The Fresh Market does not have a large footprint right now; there are 149 stores across the US and only seven in South Carolina. Still, the company has been expanding. The store manager says this type of store is exactly what the Grand Strand has been missing.
"The customer base of Myrtle Beach definitely strives for this kind of store," said The Fresh Market store manager Christopher Travis. "So we listened, and we decided to build a store here."
The other store owners in the Northwood Plaza shopping center are even excited about the new store. It's opening in a strip mall that Bill Currence says needed new life.
"We were the last man standing here," said Currence, whose wife owns Sally Stowe Interiors. "All the other businesses had basically left."
He says the shopping center was plagued with empty storefronts.
"This used to be a skateboard area for teenagers, because there was nobody here," recalls Currence.
Part of the store had to relocate to a different section of the center to make room for The Fresh Market, practically shutting down his business for a year, but it was a move he says was worth it.
"Now you look at it, and it's just a complete change from that," Currence said.
According to the realtor, Northwood Plaza owners poured millions into upgrades, just to make the center ready for The Fresh Market.
As The Fresh Market goes through the first day for new business, Currence hopes Wednesday will bring a new start for all of Northwood Plaza.
"Everyone says it really benefited them to have The Fresh Market next to them," explained Currence. "So we're really looking forward to the opening."
The manager of Northwood Plaza tells WMBF News it's already made a difference. Six new businesses have plans to move in, from restaurants and delis to a yogurt place and coffee shop.