Fresh Thyme and Punch Pizza Open in Vadnais Heights

A snazzy grocery store and a Neapolitan pizza joint bring new food options to Vadnais Heights.

Fresh Thyme opened in August, filling the nine-month void that Festival Foods left in the community when it closed in November 2015; Punch Pizza opened in November. Both businesses are what Ling Becker, executive director of Vadnais Heights Economic Development Corporation, calls “destination locations.”

Fresh Thyme focuses on fresh, natural and organic foods, matching the focus of the community. “Vadnais is really known for parks and trails and the outdoor aspects,” Becker says. “So I think it’s a really great match for a community that’s concerned about health and wellness.”

Punch Pizza is a “fast-casual” restaurant offering wood-fired pizza that Becker hopes will draw people to the community. It’s the first in the northeast metro, but is well-known throughout the Twin Cities.

“You’re not going to find either one of these in every community, or even most communities,” Becker says. “It helps set our community apart to not just have what everybody else has.”