Owner Bryce Caldwell plans to open Freshy’s Local Market on Feb. 9 in the Hadley building. Photo courtesy of Freshy’s Local Market

Freshy’s farm-to-market grocery opens Thursday in Mercer Island

“Freshy’s Local Market,” a new 2,500-square-foot, farm-to-market grocery, will open at 9 a.m. on Feb. 9 in the Hadley building.

Freshy’s owner and founder Bryce Caldwell, who also runs Freshy’s Seafood Shack just down the street from the new location, said the business “is an answer to the growing demand for food that is minimally-handled and minimally-transported.”

The market will have local organic produce and dairy daily, and a full-service marketplace with fresh, locally-sourced fish and meat that on-site professionals will quickly cut to customers’ needs. Beers from small local producers will be dispensed into growlers from eight rotating taps. For perfect meal pairings, Washington state wines and sake will line an entire wall.

Caldwell said he is passionate about finding the best and freshest food from small producers. Freshy’s will focus on sourcing from Grays Harbor, Pacific, Skagit, Pierce, Snohomish and King counties.

“We are building on the runaway success that we’ve enjoyed at our original Freshy’s Seafood Market,” he said in a statement. “At the new Freshy’s Local Market, shoppers will have many more choices of fresh, locally-sourced, organic foods. Food will be traceable to its origin.”

Artisan cheeses will come from Golden Glen creamery in Bow, Washington, where they not only make the cheese; they also raise the cows. Oysters from Willapa Bay and Deep Bay will be shucked and packed on ice for customers to enjoy at home.

Meats and seafood will almost entirely be from Western Washington, as local fishermen will deliver clams and salmon directly to the market. There will be live whole crabs from Ilwaco, where Caldwell was born. A local growers’ co-op will also deliver farm-to-table organic produce to Freshy’s Local Market.

Caldwell grew up in a family of commercial and sport fishermen. When making a career change seven years ago, Caldwell returned to his roots, first becoming an independent seafood broker before opening Freshy’s. Much of the seafood and shellfish sold at Freshy’s is sourced from local fishermen Caldwell has known for over 30 years.

Caldwell opened Freshy’s at 2411 76th Ave. SE in 2010, repurposing an abandoned gas station on a prime corner of Mercer Island’s main business district. It quickly became an Island mainstay, and was discovered by Eastside residents and Seattleites as well.

Rebranded “Freshy’s Seafood Shack,” the original dining location will enlarge its casual, indoor dining space. It will continue to serve lunch and dinner and showcase an expanded menu of cooked-to-order and take-home items like fresh steamed crab, oysters on the half shell, hamburgers, fish and chips, grilled seafood tacos and Po’boy sandwiches.

With the opening of Freshy’s Local Market, fresh seafood sales will relocate to the new grocery. The market will also have options for grab-and-go meals.

“We’ll have a wide variety of in-house-made salads, sauces, and soup-bases,” Caldwell said. “For fans of Hawaiian poke, we’ll have numerous choices at our self-service poke salad bar. We are adding beef jerky, pepperoni, prosciutto and sausage to a charcuterie selection that also includes smoked salmon, salmon jerky, salmon candy and salmon bacon.”

The grocery’s interior will be suggestive of a northwest beach scene, with sand-colored driftwood trim and stained floor that brings to mind a day at the seaside. 54 short-term customer parking spaces are located within the Hadley apartment building.

Freshy’s revenue has grown 14 percent annually. Caldwell started with just two employees in 2010. When Freshy’s Local Market opens in February 2017, Caldwell will have 14 full time employees.

Freshy’s Local Market is located at 2601 76th Ave. SE. It will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. For more, see www.freshysseafoodmarket.com.

 

Store manager Jason Maloney poses in the market prior to the Feb. 9 opening of Freshy’s. Photo courtesy of Freshy’s Local Market