A 24-hour grocery store and deli counter using artificial intelligence and delivery robots is now open at the emerging Town Centre at Trilith development in Fayetteville.
Owned by Jamie and Jilea Hemmings, Nourish + Bloom Market uses self-guiding technology which allows people to enter the store, scan QR codes with a smartphone app to shop for produce, meats, baked goods, healthcare products, and prepared meals, and then pay for items without the need to check out at a register.
Like Amazon and FedEx, the market features delivery robots (think chirpy little R2-D2s programmed with facial recognition software and temperature-controlled bellies) roaming the sidewalks of Town Centre carting grocery orders to people living within the development.
In addition to the market, the bistro counter serves sandwiches throughout the day, including a Philly cheese and other sandwiches based on family dinner favorites.
To create this hi-tech shopping experience for Nourish + Bloom, the Hemmings partnered with digital technology company UST Global and Shekel Brainweigh, a company specializing in artificial intelligence for retail businesses, as well as Hitachi and Microsoft.
While the grocery store is meant to be as contactless as possible, Nourish + Bloom isn’t totally devoid of human contact. Market employees are still available to answer questions, help find items in the store, and make sandwiches served at the bistro counter.
The Hemmings say they hope to begin accepting EBT/SNAP benefits later this year, too.
This isn’t the couple’s first foray into entrepreneurial food endeavors. The Hemmings founded Greenie Tots, an organic vegan food company for kids, after their oldest son was diagnosed with autism. As busy parents, and with shifts in consumer shopping behaviors during the pandemic, they began devising a plan to create a technology-driven, contactless grocery store.
Look for a second Nourish+ Bloom to open some time next year in metro Atlanta, with plans to eventually expand the company to more than 400 stores around the country.
Nourish + Bloom Market joins Woodstone Bakery and Cafe, Honeysuckle Gelato, Barleygarden Kitchen and Craft Bar, Hop City Craft Beer and Wine, and Amici Italian Cafe at Town Centre. A yet-named food hall, Sensu Sushi, and Braise, owned by Mushi Ni chefs Tanya Jimenez and Michael Le, should open later this year at development.
300 Trilith Parkway, Fayetteville. nourishandbloommarket.com.