When Fresh Thyme opens two more stores in the Omaha metro next month, it will be two more steps toward the Chicago-based grocer's push to expand quickly throughout the Midwest.

The company, which focuses on natural and organic foods, currently has 48 locations. It expects to have a total of 70 by the end of 2017. Fresh Thyme launched in 2014 and expects to surpass 5,000 employees this year and reached $500 million in annual sales, according to the Omaha World-Herald.

Fresh Thyme's stores focus on produce, meats and prepared foods and have a smaller footprint that typical supermarkets.