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    Fresh & Easy Debuts First Bay Area Stores

    Northern California expansion begins in San Jose, Danville

    Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market cut the ribbon on two northern California stores this week in San Jose and Danville as the first of more than a dozen stores set to open early this year in Northern California.

    After opening its first stores in November 2007 in southern California, the El Segundo, Calif.-based Fresh & Easy has steadily expanded in the Sunshine State, migrating to Bakersfield in December 2008 and Fresno in January 2010.

    “We opened our first stores in 2007 with the goal of creating a modern, 21st century grocery store,” said Fresh & Easy CEO Tim Mason. “Fast forward to today, and we have 166 stores and more than 4,500 employees. We know our fresh prepared meals, our less processed foods and our very competitive prices will be very well received by Northern California shoppers.”

    The company’s estimates that its northern California expansion will create some 300 new entry-level jobs, hourly rates for which begin at $10 per hour in California, along with quarterly bonuses of up to 10 percent and a 401(k) with company match. The fresh-focused, small-format retailer also offers comprehensive healthcare plans and provides all employees the opportunity to work at least 20 hours per week, which entitles everyone to vision, prescription drug, dental and medical coverage, with Fresh & Easy paying at least 75 percent.

    Fresh & Easy operates more than 160 stores in California, Arizona and Nevada. In addition to fresh prepared meals, meats and produce, Fresh & Easy also offers popular national brands alongside its own-brand products that have no artificial colors or flavors, no added trans fats, no high-fructose corn syrup, and only use preservatives "when absolutely necessary," according to the company.

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