“Fresh” Off the Press!

If there is one thing Frisco residents can agree on, it is that there has been no shortage of change, growth and economic development in the city over the past several years. Flash back to many decades ago, when the town boasted nothing but grain silos, train tracks and a cotton warehouse. I wonder, was there a farmers’ market in those days? Where did people purchase their fruits and vegetables? We know there was Henry’s Grocery Store (where the Depot Café is now) and that residents could go to the fruit and vegetable stand in Lolaville (during the 1940s through 1970s), a stretch of land where Sam Rayburn Tollway now sits. Could it be that after all these years, Frisco is reintroducing a new concept that ties closely with its roots?  

It is no secret that Frisco is no longer the small farm town it used to be. While the community spirit and small town feel remain in the spotlight of Frisco’s glowing reputation, the city is moving away from being what some consider only average. With the grand opening of the Frisco Fresh Market planned for 2017, one of the area’s newest business ventures is bound to bring additional uniqueness and profitability to the already booming and growing area. Part of what sets Frisco apart from other cities is that it offers so many activities and destinations that other communities do not. We have restaurants and shopping venues that are not chain companies, providing visitors and residents with something truly unique and special to take part in. This also helps keep money local! With the new Frisco Fresh Market business venture, profitability will increase for local farmers and it will only add to what makes Frisco stand out. While technically this is a new business venture, it is helping keep Frisco in touch with its past, which is not such a bad thing. The destination for purchasing quality and organic foods is coming! Jeff Coleman, an owner and co-developer of Frisco Fresh Market LLC, shares, “This will be the first project of its kind in North Texas. It offers a permanent indoor and outdoor place for local farmers to sell produce and foods.”

So, what is the plan? The mixed-use Frisco Fresh Market, inspired by European and U.S. farmers’ markets, will be located just east of Toyota Stadium, at the corner of Frisco and Main Streets. “The architecture will lend itself to Texas and the southwest. It will reflect local customs and flavors. It will be Texan-ized!” Mr. Coleman says. This tract of land, originally farmed by Billy Joe Pearson, is where the original train depot that started Frisco was located. Once inside the state-of-the-art market, visitors will be surrounded by local farmers, artisans, chefs and artists. There will be an indoor and outdoor shed, as well as a variety of restaurants. “There will be inside food vendors and outside areas for fruits, vegetables and anything else you can sell outside. We are going to have a pedestrian esplanade where we will have 10 to 12 micro restaurants with patios. All of them will be serving different kinds of foods. There will be a brewery, beer garden, wine bar, and famous restaurant tours in Dallas will get involved,” Mr. Coleman shares. This will keep customers entertained and help meet the needs of the various vendors who will be selling their products at the market. The facility will feature large coolers and plenty of storage.

While you may be able to find a farmer’s market in surrounding cities, very few, if any of them, are open seven days a week, like the Frisco Fresh Market will be. Back in September of 2015, City Council approved plans for the new 32.6-acre development. Mr. Coleman and Preston Cheng, an owner and co-developer, are the faces of this exciting project. Mr. Coleman, who has had his hand in several local projects, has traveled the world looking at other food markets to help create his vision. He has been able to investigate firsthand what he does and does not like about these venues to incorporate in the new project. “The idea came from global trends resonating across the U.S.,” Mr. Coleman says. (Fun fact: the same architectural group that designed the Milwaukee Public Market is credited with the plans for Frisco Fresh Market). Frisco’s new market will reflect the successful features of other already profitable markets, located in various cities.

The community will be exposed to things it has not had access to before, including cooking classes put on by Frisco Fresh Market vendors. The indoor shed featured in the market design allows space for chef-led classes, events and celebrations! “We are looking all over for the farmer who grows the best strawberries, peaches, etc. We are going to have the best of the best! Hopefully, local entrepreneurs will jump on this exciting bandwagon!” says Mr. Coleman. Tourists from other counties will undoubtedly show interest and the project will be instrumental in tying “old downtown” to Frisco Square. This is vital in helping businesses develop all over Frisco, not just in one targeted area. People will be able to walk to surrounding destinations, without ever moving their vehicles. Creating an urban environment for people of all ages will only make this area of town an even better place to live, visit and work. “Vendors from all different walks of life and all types of experiences will have different wares to sell. There is an entertainment factor that comes with it too! People like to walk around and look. It will be an outing,” Mr. Coleman shares. This helps promote the development’s “live, work and play” mentality. Within the fresh test kitchen, chefs who are new to the restaurant industry can even make their mark on the test kitchen row. Mr. Coleman says, “We are confident that Frisco Fresh Market will bring a lot of jobs into the community. We are going to have people moving to Frisco who have come from cities that have this kind of thing. There are thousands of people moving to the area that this will be good for.”

With the opening of Frisco Fresh Market, the opportunity for new or additional projects in the surrounding area is unlimited. Will there be transportation amenities built? Will we see more apartments and living spaces? We are sure to witness more entertainment destinations pop up quickly, also merging the downtown area with Frisco Square. It will be an experience that both visitors and residents alike will be able to enjoy any time. “After we got our zoning to allow us to do the project, we saw a lot of response on Twitter and Facebook. People are asking all kinds of questions! They were very keen to find out when this would get off the ground. A lot of people are saying this is very refreshing. It is a new shopping experience that has been around for centuries!” Mr. Coleman says.

An exciting wave of change, that will also preserve Frisco’s small town feel and liven the area, is coming soon. Frisco Fresh Market will be open on Monday through Sunday. “This is a project we are very excited about and working very hard on. We believe the city of Frisco will be proud of this,” Mr. Coleman assures. Do you want to be a vendor? If you are excited to learn more about this new attraction coming to Frisco in 2017, visit friscofreshmarket.com. Stay updated on news about the project and prepare for an awesome new addition to Frisco’s shopping scene next year!