A natural foods market with fresh produce, prepared foods to go, a deli, bulk-bin areas and nutritional supplements will open in the former Beechwood Market in Huntington Center. The Common Bond Market will be owned and operated by three people with connections to Thyme & Season, a similar establishment in business since 1997 in Hamden. \u201cWe\u2019ve been looking for awhile to open a new location,\u201d said Josh Elliott, who will oversee the Shelton store. The goal is to have the Common Bond Market up and running by mid-February. \u201cWe\u2019re super excited,\u201d Elliott said of the location. The new owners signed a lease with the property owner a few weeks ago, and extensive interior renovations now are under way. \u201cWe\u2019ve been here every day, and are gutting the place,\u201d Elliott said. \u201cWe want to do it right and that involves taking the place apart.\u201d Some exterior changes expected, too The market will have a new floor, shelves, ceiling and check-out counters. The landlord is expected to make some related upgrades to the building\u2019s exterior facade. Elliott will be partnering with his mother, Mary Ellen Stearman, and her fianc\u00e9, Mark Woollard, on the establishment. Stearman owns Thyme & Season and was one of the founders of the FoodWorks natural foods markets, with stores in suburban towns east of New Haven as well as one in Monroe. She is no longer involved with FoodWorks. Common Bond will be a separate business. \u201cWe\u2019re essentially starting from scratch,\u201d Elliott said. Beechwood Market closed unexpectedly in late August after more than a half century in Shelton. Sees food as a bond The new market\u2019s name comes from Elliott\u2019s vision of food as something that brings people together, such as when families or friends share meals. \u201cI see food as a cohesive bond between people,\u201d he said. Food stores serve people better when they are \u201clocalized,\u201d he said, especially in this era of big-box stores. The new market will work with local vendors and companies. \u201cWe can help these businesses and producers,\u201d Elliott said. He said one of the store\u2019s strong points will be the staff, noting Thyme & Season has many longtime employees. \u201cWe will have an excellent core staff,\u201d he said. Creating a relationship with customers Another positive, Elliott said, will be having \u201ca good dialog with our customers, so we\u2019re selling what they want.\u201d He said by doing things correctly, Thyme & Season has built a strong customer case. \u201cPeople can become very loyal,\u201d he said. \u201cWe almost have a \u2018fan base.\u2019 We are on a first-name basis with our customers.\u201d Like Thyme & Season, the Common Bond Market will offer lectures, other presentations, and tastings. Elliott said his mother has taught him the importance of excellent service, good organization, cleanliness and \u201ctreating everyone really well.\u201d A committed landlord The Huntington Center location is about 6,500 square feet, plus a side loading dock. The building is owned by an entity with many partners, and Elliott said the landlord is \u201ccommitted\u201d to helping the new business succeed. \u201cWe will provide a strong anchor store,\u201d he said. He now is working with city officials on securing the necessary permits, but expects few obstacles since the use will be essentially the same as with Beechwood Market. The new store will still have refrigerators and freezers in the rear. The bulk-bin area will offer items such as coffee, cereal, nuts, pasta, rice and trail mix. He said about a third of the Hamden store\u2019s interior is devoted to nutritional supplements, such as vitamins and protein powders, and that could be the case in Shelton as well. Recent law school graduate Elliott, who is in his late 20s, recently graduated from Quinnipiac University Law School, and lives in Hamden. He grew up in Guilford. He said Huntington reminds him a lot of Guilford, with its town green, country look and historic buildings. Elliott described Shelton as \u201ca burgeoning town,\u201d with a large employment base. \u201cA lot of money is being put into this town,\u201d he said. The area\u2019s demographics and the location\u2019s traffic count are favorable for the business, he said. He expects to initially hire from 20 to 25 people, both full and part time. Thyme & Season in Hamden has 39 employees.