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    Carnival Brings Flagship Grocery Concept to Plano

    Minyard's Latino-themed store focuses on fresh foods and an expanded international selection, and features Texas' first in-store dental clinic.

    Carnival Food Stores, Inc., a division of Coppell, Texas-based Minyard Food Stores, unveiled its Latino-themed Carnival Super Market format to Plano shoppers yesterday with the grand re-opening of a remodeled store.

    According to the company, the new 55,000-square-foot store will be "devoted to the freshest of everything edible, at great prices." It features an expanded international section, new specialty departments, signature products, dental health and medical clinics, and an eye-catching store decor package.

    The Plano unit is the latest Carnival location to be upgraded. The new bells and whistles reflect the well-received concept that the grocer introduced in 2006 in Dallas' Oak Cliff neighborhood. While the store specializes in Latino products, it's meant to be shopped by consumers from all ethnic backgrounds, according to the company.

    The 440-foot international foods section in Plano includes specialty products from Latin America, Asia and South Asia, the Middle East, and Europe, according to the company.

    As a unique feature, All-Smiles Dental and Orthodontics will open the first in-store dental clinic in Texas at Carnival on March 22, and the local practice will extend care at other Carnival locations using mobile clinics. MedBasics Family Health Center, a clinic, will also open later this spring. These services are being offered in combination with the store's full-service pharmacy.

    Other highlights of the store include:
    -- The produce department boasts more than 400 items, including 15 varieties of chili peppers.
    -- The tortilleria offers corn and flour tortillas made fresh daily.
    -- The panaderia, or bakery, has more than 150 freshly baked products every day, including signature items like tres leches cakes made from scratch, Mexican sweet breads and bolillos sold alongside donuts, and French bread.
    -- The salchicheria (deli) makes several varieties of potato salad and salsas to appeal to different ethnic palates.
    -- A special treat is found at the fruteria, where shoppers will find a selection of fruit juices and drinks blended from fresh ingredients like mango, strawberry, and coconut.
    -- In the full-service fresh meat department, shoppers may choose from 150 cuts, including top-quality standards such as boneless chuck steaks as well as more specialized selections, such as marinated meats and chorizo. The full-service seafood department offers more than 30 fresh seafood items, including shrimp, live catfish and tilapia, and six kinds of freshly made ceviche.
    -- Like the flagship store, Plano customers will also find a "restaurant-in-a-store" (cocina) with tables where they can enjoy breakfast, lunch, or dinner with authentic Latino and American dishes from the cocina prepared with fresh ingredients from scratch under the direction of a Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef.

    Carnival Food Stores consists of 25 Latino-themed grocery stores in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex that are designed to meet the needs of customers in the local neighborhoods and appeal to the fast-growing Latino market.

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