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MNB often focuses on stores that differentiate themselves through unique products and services, offering a value proposition that seems different from those offered by the competition.

That seems to be the pitch for FreshTake, a new grocer scheduled to open next summer in Augusta, Georgia, in a former Whole Foods location, which has been getting some degree of media attention.  The store is owned by Jackson Mitchell, CEO of Jackson Mitchell Holdings, which operates five Little Giant Farmers Market locations in the Atlanta area.

Here's how the company is describing the planned store experience:

"FreshTake is designed to cater to the diverse needs of the modern shopper, offering a seamless integration of shopping and leisure activities. The store will feature seating for 130, two outdoor balconies a spacious mezzanine seating area above the in-store cafe, providing professionals with a cozy spot to work or meet over coffee while enjoying complimentary WIFI. The outdoor patio seating area at FreshTake will be a prime attraction, boasting a walk-up barbecue smokehouse for a mouthwatering lunch or dinner experience. Patrons can also unwind by the fire pit or practice their golf skills on the 5-hole putting green, making FreshTake a destination that appeals to families and individuals alike. One of the highlights of FreshTake will be 'Jackson's,' a beer and wine bar within the store. Shoppers can relax and catch up on their favorite sports on 13 large televisions while savoring a selection of 10 tap beers, wine, made-to-order sushi and bar food items.

"Augusta residents and visitors will dive into a delectable culinary experience at FreshTake, where their diverse food service offerings cater to all tastes. FreshTake customers will enjoy the artistry of an in-store sushi bar, indulging in comforting slices at the pizza and pasta station, crafting their ideal sub at the sandwich bar, and exploring the delights of the full-service hot food bar and bakery as well as a large selection of import cheeses. For a refreshing twist, customers can visit the fresh-squeezed juice and smoothie bar or discover easy meal solutions with a variety of grab and go options … The store will feature in-store butchers and a dedicated section for meat, thoughtfully categorized into prime, fresh, frozen, and packaged selections. Notably, customers can select their choice of fresh meat and have it prepared by in-store chefs with the innovative 'grill while you shop' option. The fresh seafood department will also provide free steaming services."

Mitchell, a fourth-generation grocer, calls the store "the culmination of my career and a deep love for the grocery business. Our goal is to create a space that not only offers top-quality groceries but also becomes a hub for the community, where people can come together to enjoy great food, entertainment, and convenience."

KC's View:

In the home of the Masters, it seems appropriate that this grocer doesn't just want to achieve par.  That's not enough - he's hoping for an ace.  (In food retailing these days, just aiming for par is never enough.)

Frankly, they had me at "smokehouse" and "beer and wine bar."  I may have to arrange a trip to Augusta sometime next year. 

To be clear, FreshTake has to live up to the promise.  But the approach seems to be one that has taken some inspiration from the likes of Jungle Jim's, Stew Leonard's, Dorothy lane Market and Wegmans.  Can't aim much higher than that.