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Friday, February 19, 2016

Navigating Newport Fresh Thyme and ALDI

Typically, my Editor assigns me stories that I really love (thanks Mark!).  Typically.  This was NOT one of those times.  When I was told I should do a story on the new grocery stores that have opened up in the area, panic set in.

Grocery shopping, to me, means sprinting through a store as quickly as possible whilst dragging anywhere from one to three children behind me, grabbing whatever is within eye sight yet still managing to forget half the things we need but spend double the budget.  Alas, I'm not one to grocery shop.  My husband usually takes care of the in-store shopping and I order our food from Milk Run or Green Bean Delivery.  But when the boss requires it, I’ll comply.  So, on Tuesday evening, I headed over to both Aldi and Fresh Thyme to check them out.

Aldi was my first stop of the night. Here are a few helpful tips to “manage” Aldi (as it was certainly a different experience than I was expecting):

ALDI Newport, Ky. FTM file. 
Carts: imagine my surprise when I have all the children with me and I walk up to grab a cart and they are locked. You have to put a quarter in the cart to release it and then after you are done shopping you return the cart and get your quarter back.  This is one way Aldi keep prices low; no one has to run around the parking lot collecting rogue carts and they lose far fewer to theft.  Although I never carry change, this idea made sense to me so I was willing to overlook this minor inconvenience.

ALDI Newport, Ky. FTM file. 
Check out: they only accept cash or debit cards; so, this was my first and last time ever going there.  For many/most people, this isn’t a major issue (so long as you plan ahead); however, I like to live on the wild side under the constant threat of identity theft so I put 100% of my purchases on a points credit card and haven’t carried cash since I stopped going to bars with cover charges.  Plus, how would I get all those borderline creepy targeted ads if I pay cash?

ALDI Newport, Ky. FTM file. 
Bags: make sure you bring your own bags or if you were like me have your children carry all your groceries to the car. And pay them in chocolate which you can buy in bulk for cheap at Aldi.


ALDI Newport, Ky. FTM file. 
Overall, this is not your typical supermarket.  It doesn't have a lot of variety, instead carrying only the necessities.  Aldi has its own brand which is reputed to be pretty good quality for the price.  And, surprisingly, they had a great organic section.  The store is much smaller than I expected and does not keep normal hours so be sure to check that it is open before putting your quarter in the cart.

Fresh Thyme:
Fresh Thyme Newport, Ky. FTM file. 
Shockingly, look as hard as I might, I could not find the fresh thyme, only canned!  Bad joke…sorry.  Fresh Thyme operates similarly to most grocery stores but caters more toward the Whole Foods/Trader Joe’s crowd- meaning, lots of mustaches and man buns (hey hubs, you could shop there).
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For the area, though, it is a good, new, fresh, and organic food option on a much smaller scale than the Whole Foods in Rookwood.  They have an amazing bakery, organic salad bar and lots of organic cosmetics. Shopping there felt more like shopping at a Farmer’s Market but with a larger and easier to navigate footprint.
Fresh Thyme Newport, Ky. FTM file. 
After gaining my own insight, I decided to talk to a few grocery shopping pros to gather their opinions.
Fresh Thyme Newport, Ky. FTM file. 
Jenn Walker, working mother of two, said “I have lots of pros for Fresh Thyme- starting with the fact that they don't have huge displays blocking every aisle. It is so much easier to get kids through there than Kroger. Plus more organic stuff and fresh pressed juice.”

Savvy shopper Shelly Bean (not related to the aforementioned Green Bean), mother of two, says she “love(s) the competition (the two new stores) have created. I’m able to price compare and save.”

Elizabeth Delp, mother of two (notice a pattern), is an avid Aldi shopper: “I have shopped at Aldi for nearly 18 years and love it. I love it even more now that I have kids and can get their organic options. They have also removed all artificial dyes, msg and hydrogenated oils from ALL their products.”

Erika Peter agrees with Delp’s love of Aldi, “it is CRAZY cheap and unless you go on the weekends, it's usually not crowded. The new store in Newport is definitely one of the most spacious ones I've been to. So glad it's there.” Peter goes on to warn that price-shopping is still sometimes necessary as Aldi is not always cheaper then Kroger, just usually.

Marcela Raskova, originally from the Czech Republic, likes “Aldi for it reminds (her) of (her) home.” She goes on to say, “In fact, going there is a quick sample of the shopping experience in central Europe. Most if not all supermarkets there have carts for coins and bringing your own bags is a must.”

So, there you have it.  A first-time shopper’s guide to Fresh Thyme and Aldi and some insight from frequent shoppers far more experienced than me.  How about you?  What have your experiences been like thus far?  Leave a comment below or on Facebook.
Fresh Thyme- Someone likes to shop more than others. FTM file. 


  1. Not sure that was what Aldi is going for: Eastern European grocer

  2. You Ft. Thomas people have Krogers all to yourself now....Biggs used to do the same thing with there carts....get your maid to carry your stuff....

    1. I am from Ft Thomas and do my own shopping ha no maid here. I Prefer fresh thyme they don't except w I c or foodstamps.

  3. Aldi itself is based in Germany so that's one reason it has that feel, no problem with that.

  4. I'm not surprised by the carts. After all, Aldi is a German grocery store. My parents prefer it because Kroger/Walmart is just too huge and confusing for them while Fresh Thyme is too niche.

  5. If you prefer to pay for a giant building, carts, bags, baggers, advertising, loyalty programs, self-scan machines, electronic traffic counters, chocolate fountains, etc.,etc., etc. then Kroger is for you. Aldi is about as close as you'll get to just paying for groceries. that said, we still hit Kroger for certain things and will price shop all three (Kroger, Aldi, Fresh Thyme) as long as they want to do battle.