Fresh Thyme Farmers Market will occupy 30,000 square feet of the giant retail space, located at 2700 Plainfield Road. MyGofer closed in February 2013 after four years in business.
"I've met in my office with their representatives a few times, they compare it to ... if Whole Foods married Trader Joe's and had a baby, it would be Fresh Thyme," Giarrante said of the upscale grocer. "It's a very nice store," he said.
Giarrante said the grocer is slated to open by the end of 2014, and will be the second Fresh Thyme store in Illinois. The first location will open this spring in Mount Prospect, bringing about 100 jobs to town.
Giarrante said the chain plans to open 60 stores in the Midwest in the next five years. According to the Fresh Thyme website, locations are also coming to Downers Grove and Naperville in 2015.
In an interview with Natural Foods Merchandiser, Fresh Thyme CEO Chris Sherrell said the business is bringing the farmers market concept to the Midwest.
"We’re bringing a natural option to the Midwest with incredible values and trying to make the natural lifestyle affordable to the masses," Sherrell said. "This is really going to be our goal."
Big business in JolietA major retailer will also open soon in the former MyGofer, but Giarrante said he can't reveal the name just yet.
"I cannot say who they are yet as they're waiting to sign a lease, but it's a very big name in retail," he said.
The retailer will occupy 50,000 square feet, leaving about 20,000 square feet still available for rent, Giarrante said.
"We were trying to talk Binny's into opening up there," the mayor said, but the liquor retailer requires a larger space.
Giarrante said there are several other new business slated to come to Joliet in the coming months.
"I met with our economic development director this morning," he said Thursday, declining to offer details, but he did say some stores in the Louis Joliet Mall could shift location to make way for a new retailer.
"We're still working on the fine print," Giarrante said.