PITTSBURGH, June 29 /PRNewswire/ -- The launch of two Market District(TM) stores is being announced today as a new concept from Pittsburgh-based supermarket retailer Giant Eagle(R), Inc. The Market District store concept embodies a culinary destination for food aficionados paired with the convenience of a full service market. The first two stores open officially with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10:00 a.m. on June 29. The stores, located at 7000 Oxford Drive in Pittsburgh's South Hills region and 5550 Centre Avenue in the city's Shadyside neighborhood, are expected to draw customers from nearby Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia regions. (Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20060629/NYTH052 ) The Market District concept was developed to appeal to food enthusiasts, those who enjoy taking part in and learning about the sight, smell and taste of the exciting world of food. The stores are the perfect choice for those passionate about food, and feature a wide array of freshly prepared foods made in-store every day. The Market District stores simultaneously satisfy the customer need for a full weekly shopping trip. In a single location, customers can purchase unique, fresh and specialty items alongside mainstream national brands while enjoying convenience-oriented services such as pharmacy, photo development and dry cleaning. The two Market District stores offer numerous opportunities to discover the "oooo" in food: * A Brazilian-style churrasco featuring meats and vegetables fire-roasted to lock in sumptuous flavor; * The finest in charcuterie showcasing domestic and imported cured meats from countries such as Italy and Spain, and unique products such as Saucisson pork from the mountains of France; * A 500 item Kosher section and deli created with the guidance of rabbis and offering popular brands like Empire Kosher, Kedem, and Aaron's, as well as Tnuva and other popular Israeli brands; * A cheese department and cheese cave with more than 400 domestic and imported choices from regions around the globe, such as French Morbier, Rembrandt Aged Gouda from Holland and Royal Windsor from England; * A traditional pizza oven, sushi bar and authentic Italian creations including fresh mozzarella and pasta, and pasta sauces made from scratch; * A fresh fruit smoothie bar and coffee roasting station where green coffee beans are roasted daily and brewed to perfection; * Nearly 5,000 specialty food and beverage products from 19 countries/regions around the world including Africa, India, Poland, England and Asia, and more than 4,000 natural, organic and gluten-free items; * An in-store bakery where bakers use traditional baking methods, authentic ingredients and a Bongard hearth oven from France to produce the best in pastries, pies and cakes, specialty desserts and more than 20 organic and artisan breads; * A full-service meat and seafood department presenting hundreds of traditional favorites in addition to hard-to-find selections such as rabbit, venison, quail and buffalo; * A bountiful produce department with 500 varieties and unusual selections such as cippolini onions, cactus pears, exotic herbs and approximately 120 organic fruits and vegetables; * A chef demonstration station where culinary experts showcase products from across the store, along with easy instructions for home preparation; * An ongoing schedule of in-store events to entertain and educate shoppers, including cooking demonstrations from resident chefs, celebrity chef appearances, book signings, and live music and free Wi-Fi access in the Market District Caf�; * In comparison to the 68,000 square foot Shadyside store, the larger size of the 117,000 square foot South Hills location allows for additional offerings, including a baby section, toy section, office products and housewares, bulk foods and spices and a candy rotunda featuring freshly made fudge and chocolate bark as well as chocolates from the acclaimed Belgian chocolatier Leonidas. "The Market District concept is not just another food store," said Kevin Srigley, Senior Vice President, Market District. "The stores welcome customers to a new world of food, with unique meat, produce, cheese and grocery selections from around the globe, selected by our dedicated staff. The stores have an open-air market feeling with an amazing array of specialty items, natural and organic products, exotic spices, artisan breads, and a wealth of fresh meat, seafood, and produce selections that are anything but ordinary." Srigley added, "But Market District also satisfies customer needs for a full weekly shop. While customers can find unique items not available elsewhere, they also can purchase everyday items like national brand detergent and popular beverages under the same roof, priced comparably with Giant Eagle supermarkets." Market District is the place for food enthusiasts, but the brand's tie to Giant Eagle is not forgotten. Market District features the attractive promotions, weekly specials and pricing, and the ability to purchase gift cards for popular retailers and earn fuelperks!(R) loyalty rewards with the Giant Eagle Advantage Card(R). A new world of food knowledge and service from trained professionals The unique combination of food enthusiasm and a complete shopping experience is only a part of the Market District story. Srigley said that the 300 employees at the Shadyside location and the 500 employees at the South Hills store are yet another point of difference. More than 50 chefs, bakers and food professionals are on hand throughout the store to share their knowledge. Graduates from the Culinary Institute of America, the Pennsylvania Culinary Institute, and the Bidwell Training Center are working in various roles in the Market District stores. In addition, a number of culinary students are conducting externships at the two locations. Certified Cheesemongers, trained employees who have become cheese experts, also add to the experience. On-going employee training includes how products are made, quality of ingredients, country of origin, and recipe and product usage suggestions. "Our food training is extensive," said Srigley. "Our people experience food from producers located all over the world, from small farmhouses to large suppliers. They then utilize this knowledge to help satisfy the culinary curiosity of our customers. "Importantly, we also spend a significant amount of time training on superior customer service. We aim to deliver a food experience that is second to none," he added. Retail theater that creates a personal experience In addition to many unique food experiences, Market District offers shoppers the opportunity to enjoy educational classes and demonstrations throughout the year. A chef demonstration cooking area in the heart of store and an open presentation area for prepared foods enables Market District chefs and food specialists to actively engage customers. For example, seasonally-appropriate classes will teach customers how to prepare a cheese board and make holiday centerpieces, and year-round, customers will be able to watch coffee being roasted, sushi being prepared, and pasta made fresh daily in the store. "We want customers to enjoy a fresh food shopping experience bursting with how-tos, how-longs, which-kinds, and we-did-it-for-yous," concluded Srigley. During the coming weeks, customers will have the opportunity to meet food celebrities like Thai food specialist Naam Pruitt, author of Lemongrass and Limes on July 1; Sara Moulton, the executive chef of Gourmet magazine and host of Sara's Secrets on The Food Network on July 15; Rick Bayless, host of the PBS television series Cooking Mexican, a contemporary regional Mexican cooking program on July 20; PBS Television host Katie Brown who provides easy and affordable advice on food preparation/ presentation and casual entertaining on August 19; and Joan Nathan, author and PBS host of Jewish Cooking in America on September 12 and 13. Beginning June 29, the grand opening celebrations kick off with in-store events and food sampling, local chef demonstrations, community activities, and sweepstakes throughout the month of July. About Giant Eagle Market District The Giant Eagle Market District destination store concept offers an enhanced food shopping experience geared toward food enthusiasts. Market District offers specialty and unique items not found elsewhere in an environment where customers' passion for food can be cultivated by a staff of food experts. In two locations in the southwestern Pennsylvania region, the Market District stores feature teams of chefs and other culinary professionals preparing fresh foods from scratch every day. Market District also offers customers the rare opportunity to find natural, organic, specialty and other unique items paired with the convenience of favorite national brands and everyday needs all under the same roof. Further information can be found at MarketDistrict.com. Giant Eagle, Inc., ranked 34 on Forbes magazine's largest private corporations list is one of the nation's largest food retailers and food distributors with approximately $5.5 billion in annual sales. Giant Eagle has 216 supermarkets in addition to more than 100 fuel and convenience stores throughout western Pennsylvania, Ohio, north central West Virginia and Maryland.
SOURCE Giant Eagle, Inc.