November 14, 2012 at 09:00 AM EST
The Fresh Market(R) Leases Four Houston Metropolitan Area Grocery Store Locations

- First Texas Locations Set for In-Town Residential-Shopping Neighborhoods

- Current Rice Epicurean Markets Will Continue to Operate Through the Holidays

- Openings Expected in Latter Half of Fiscal 2013

GREENSBORO, N.C., Nov. 14, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Fresh Market, Inc. (Nasdaq:TFM), a high-growth specialty food retailer, today announced that it has entered into agreements to lease four new store locations that are currently operated as Rice Epicurean Markets, a family-owned specialty food retailer based in Houston, Texas. Rice Epicurean Markets will continue to operate the stores through the end of the year, and will close these four stores during the first quarter of 2013. A fifth Rice Epicurean location on Fountain View in the Briargrove neighborhood of Houston is not subject to the transaction and will continue to operate under the Rice Epicurean Markets name.

The Fresh Market's four new locations will be in the Uptown/Tanglewood, Memorial, River Oaks and West University areas of Houston. Entities related to the families that own Rice Epicurean Markets will continue their relationship with the community as landlords at three of The Fresh Market's new locations. In addition, there will be incremental space at these Rice Epicurean Markets locations for complementary tenants to add further customer excitement to these shopping centers. The Fresh Market intends to remodel each location and currently expects to open its four new stores in the latter half of fiscal 2013. 

"Our family established our retail grocery business in Houston, Texas 75 years ago and we are proud of Rice Epicurean Market's many years of service to the community," said company spokesman Bruce Levy. "We are excited to welcome The Fresh Market to the Houston metropolitan area and to introduce their concept to our customers and neighbors. We believe their stores will be an excellent fit in this market."

"We are excited to expand into Texas, and into Houston in particular," said Craig Carlock, The Fresh Market's President and CEO. "We look forward to introducing The Fresh Market's concept of quality perishable food, excellent customer service and unique shopping atmosphere to a new set of customers, and we look forward to offering our new neighbors a distinctive food shopping experience, one that we think cannot be beaten."    

The Fresh Market also looks forward to becoming an active member of the Houston community. Each of the company's stores will be staffed by approximately 90 people, most of whom will be hired locally, and the current employees of Rice Epicurean Markets will be encouraged to apply for positions at The Fresh Market stores as part of its new store opening process. 

The Fresh Market is committed to the communities in which it does business, and its employees enthusiastically support local organizations that are important to the stores' communities and customers. All of the company's stores proudly partner with local food banks by providing regular donations of food and the store management is encouraged to make community relations an integral part of their business. In addition, as part of the company's focus on providing the freshest, best quality products, these new stores will feature local and regional products from Houston-area growers and producers.

The terms of the agreements are not being disclosed.

Inquiries regarding Rice Epicurean Markets should be directed to Bruce Levy, company spokesman, at 713-662-7784 or blevy@riceepicurean.com.

About The Fresh Market, Inc.

Founded in 1982, The Fresh Market, Inc. (Nasdaq:TFM) is a specialty grocery retailer focused on providing high-quality products in a unique and inviting atmosphere with a high level of customer service. The company currently operates 128 stores in 25 states, primarily located in the Southeast, Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast, with plans for continued expansion throughout the country. The Fresh Market is an equal opportunity employer.  For more information, please visit www.thefreshmarket.com.

Forward Looking Statements: This document contains forward-looking statements that reflect our plans, estimates, and beliefs and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Any statements contained herein (including, but not limited to, statements to the effect that The Fresh Market or its management "anticipates," "plans," "estimates," "expects," "believes," and other similar expressions) that are not statements of historical fact should be considered forward-looking statements. The following are some of the factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from any forward-looking statements: the ability of Rice Epicurean Markets' to deliver each of the four locations announced in this press release, and the timing of such delivery; the timing of permits, licenses and other governmental approvals necessary to commence our remodel work; our ability to commence and complete our remodel work in a timely fashion; the acceptance of our concept and store location in the Houston metropolitan area; unexpected expenses and risks associated with our business; our ability to remain competitive in the areas of merchandise quality, price, breadth of selection, customer service and convenience; unusual, unpredictable and/or severe weather conditions including their effect on the turnover and remodel work for each of the four locations; competition; our ability to build our brand in a new market and our ability to connect with potential customers; commodity, energy, fuel, and other cost increases; compliance with laws, regulations and orders; changes in laws and regulations and other factors as set forth from time to time in our Securities and Exchange Commission filings. We intend these forward-looking statements to speak only as of the time of this release and do not undertake to update or revise them as more information becomes available.

This press release, and access to our earnings call, is also available in the Investor Relations portion of The Fresh Market, Inc. website (http://ir.thefreshmarket.com/).

CONTACT: Carly Dennis
         Brave Public Relations
         404.233.3993
         cdennis@bravepublicrelations.com
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