Progressive Grocer

DEC 2015

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Fresh Thyme Farmers Market, headquartered in Chicago with stores throughout the Midwest, is a full-service specialty retailer focusing on value- priced fresh, healthy, natural and organic offerings. Scheduled to open 60 stores by 2019, Fresh Thyme is known for its extensive produce department with organic and local fruits and vegetable as well as its healthy deli foods to go. When it came time for this hotly-growing chain to focus on hot, healthy meals, they turned to Ovention, Inc. to install Matchbox Ovens in their in-store kitchens. Progressive Grocer recently talked with Terrance Bragg, Food Service Specialist with Fresh Thyme Farmers Market, about how the Matchbox Ovens have helped increase the quality and effciency of their on-site cooking operations. Progressive Grocer: What type of ovens do you use in your stores? Terrance Bragg: We use the Matchbox Oven in all of our kitchens. We cook a variety of hot sandwiches ranging from Reubens to hot turkey and brie sandwiches. We also do as many pizza combinations as you can imagine in this oven. It is a tremendous time-saver, both in manning the "Thyme" Saving Ovention's Matchbox Oven Boosts Effciency at Fresh Thyme Farmers Market A D V E R T O R I A L oven as well as the breaking down and cleaning process and it allows us to devote labor to other areas and yet still provide quick customer service, as the oven is so simple and easy to use. Also, its small design helps us maximize our kitchen space. Most importantly, this oven does many things beyond what we use it for: it can bake, broil, toast and grill, and it is also a convection oven and a conveyor. So much can be done with this little machine that it only makes sense to have one. If any company didn't have one, I would strongly suggest it as it more than pays for itself in a short period of time. PG: How important are ovens in delivering on shopper's interest in and demand for a quality experience? TB: The speed of the machine vastly improves wait times, because we can cook a whole pizza in three minutes and sandwiches in a minute and a half. It makes for a speedy lunch or dinner stop. The big draw is that it helps us provide a faster more effcient type of customer service to keep our guests happy. Using this Ovention Oven helps us achieve that goal. PG: Are you planning to add any capabilities or products for cooking operations? TB: We have a pretty set menu, so we have not added any new items as of yet, but may in the future as this oven can do a lot more than bake. For more information on the Matchbox Oven, visit For more information on Fresh Thyme Farmers Market, visit http:// 86 | Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What's Next | December 2015

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