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A FRESH Point of View: A Great First Year

When we opened our doors almost one year ago today, we didn’t quite know what to expect. We wanted FRESH to be a food destination that offers outstanding service, amazing world class foods and specialty items within the convenience and affordability of a grocery store setting.  We wanted to provide products that you used to go to big markets like Dallas or Houston to find, however, we also wanted to be true to our East Texas roots, and create a warm, welcoming place to shop, eat, or just hang out.

We are so grateful for the overwhelming response we have received from East Texas/West Louisiana and beyond.  We’ve had a great first year, and we’re expecting only better things for our second year. Like these:

Supporting our community: We’ll continue to support causes in the East Texas community. One of the groups nearest to our heart is the East Texas Food Bank, which helps feed needy kids, seniors and working poor families right in our community. We donate thousands of pounds of FRESH bread, produce and other food to the food bank, which gives it to those who are hungry – we’ve donated about 6,500 pounds of food every month since last summer! We’re also proud that you’re joining our efforts: This week at our checkouts, you can make a cash donation or buy bags of groceries that are being donated to ETFB to help needy families.

Food and festivals: At FRESH, we love a good party. So, we’ll be bringing back many of our signature foodie events  – with music, guest chefs, product demos and fun. Look for our popular Taste of Texas this June, featuring Texas products, Texas chefs, and homegrown Texas musicians. Some Like it Hot, our fiery foods festival, will be back in August. And our Steak Cookoff will return, featuring local cooks out for bragging rights, but this time it will be in June, just in time for grilling season!

Weekly events: There’s always something going on at the Taste Kitchen: Start your weekend with our all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast; chow down on Chef John Peter’s Louisiana-tinged seafood on Monday nights; laugh and learn at Coffee Talk with FRESHologist Jane every Tuesday morning; Wednesday Happy hour featuring a snack and drink special and our Market manager cooks up something FRESH right out of our market counter on Thursdays.  If you love to eat and learn how to put amazing foods together don’t forget to sign up for culinary showcases at our Friday Night Eats series, led by our talented chefs. We’ll continue to showcase the best local and regional chefs, nutrition experts and fitness gurus, too, especially on the weekends!

Patio time: With the return of warmer weather, our patio will be back in full swing, starting this weekend. The 801 Grill opens for the season on Saturday, with new menu items and old favorites. And our popular weekend music series kicks off Saturday too, with music starting at noon, and continuing most Friday and Saturday nights from here on out.

The best in grocery, bakery, chef-prepared foods and more: Of course, it all comes down to the food. We’re proud to have brought many only-at-FRESH foods to our corner of the world – local and exotic  produce, house-made artisan breads, a huge selection of organic, gluten-free, and natural foods, and great meat and seafood selections. And we want to keep wowing you. So, keep coming back to see what new finds we’ll be bringing you in 2012.