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Giant Eagle Inc. unveiled its fifth Market District location in five years – and its first in Pittsburgh’s northern suburbs – after converting a former two-year-old conventional store into the Pennsylvania-based regional retailer’s concept format.
Located in Pine Township’s Wexford district, the newly expanded, 90,000-square-foot Market District “represents a milestone for our company as the fifth Market District store in slightly more than five years,” said company spokesman Rob Borella.
Discussing the destination store’s position that invites food enthusiasts from across the region to experience “a new world of food,” with restaurant-quality dishes and unique meats, produce, cheese and grocery selections, Borella said the banner’s tie to Giant Eagle’s family of 229 supermarkets is firmly intact with the chain’s aggressive promotions, weekly specials, compelling pharmacy program and Fuelperks! loyalty rewards for Advantage cardholders.
Although customers will find unique items not available elsewhere, Borella said Market District further satisfies “customer needs for a full weekly shop, with everyday items like national-brand detergent and popular beverages under the same roof.”
Numerous in-store demonstrations and appearances by food celebrities capped the store’s grand opening celebration, including that of the TLC Network’s “Cake Boss,” Buddy Valastro, who unveiled a one-of-a-kind Pittsburgh-theme cake he and his team created. Other celebrity chefs who will visit the new store include Bravo Network Top Chef competitor Mike Isabella, Food Network “Ask Aida” host Aida Mollenkamp and Master Chef Martin Yan.
“When customers visit this new store, they will enjoy a world-class shopping and dining experience all in one place, bursting with amazing food from 19 countries around the world, combined with food expertise with everything from daily demonstrations to celebrity chef appearances and interactive events,” added Borella. With extensive training imparted to approximately 350 team members led by executive store leader Don Deane, the new Pine Market District staff includes graduates from schools such as the Culinary Institute of America, the Pennsylvania Culinary Institute (PCI), Le Cordon Bleu in Texas and the New England Culinary Institute, as well as Giant Eagle-certified cheesemongers and other trained food professionals.
“Our people experience food from producers located all over the world, from small farmhouses to large suppliers,” explained Borella. “They then utilize this knowledge to help satisfy the culinary curiosity of our customers, sharing techniques, recipes and ingredients so customers are inspired to try new things at home.”
First introduced in 2006, Giant Eagle has expanded the Market District banner to Columbus, Ohio, and has received rave reviews from Food Network chefs who have visited, including Guy Fieri, who described the chain’s flagship unit in Robinson Township, Pa., as “the Disneyland of grocery stores.”
Among the departmental highlights of the new store:
- A smoke and fire slow-roasting rotisserie featuring fire-grilled, roasted meats, ribs, chicken, vegetables and more.
- Hot and cold food bars, featuring a smorgasbord of home-style favorites, authentic international dishes, wings, garden-fresh vegetables and gourmet toppings.
- A spacious and inviting in-store cafe that features wine and draft beer by the glass, a vast selection of more than 500 microbrews, craft and specialty beers to enjoy with lunch or dinner meal, and free WiFi access.
- An artisan cheese shop with hundreds of artisan, local and imported cheeses.
- Stone hearth-baked pizzas, made with house-made dough and sauce, and all-natural cheese.
- A charcuterie showcasing imported cured meats from countries such as Italy and Spain, and unique artisan products such as Creminelli, La Quercia from Iowa and Pittsburgh-based products such as Parma Sausage.
- A large fresh meat and seafood department featuring dry-aged beef, steaks and roasts; fresh game meats like duck, venison, buffalo, rattlesnake and rabbit; Elysian Fields lamb; homemade chicken sausage; high quality seafood from sustainable sources such as Alaska salmon and Gulf of Maine Cod; a wide assortment of shellfish including wild American shrimp, jumbo sea scallops, live clams, oysters and lobsters; salmon burgers, steamed and flavored shrimp, crab stuffed salmon and jumbo lump crab cakes all prepared on site.
- More than 7,000 natural, organic and specialty items.
- A bulk foods section that includes 12 rotating varieties of olive oil, balsamic vinegars, 40 salts and spices and hand-selected foods including fresh roasted coffee, granolas, trail mixes, rice, beans, seeds, dried fruits, grains, candies and snacks. The section also offers an array of baking ingredients such as sugars, flours and sprinkles.
- Hearth-baked artisan breads showcased alongside made-from-scratch cookies and doughnuts, pies and cakes, pastries, specialty desserts, and boiled and hearth-baked bagels in the Market District bakery.
- A beverage bar with coffee, cappuccino, latte, seasonal specialty drinks, as well as fruit smoothies made with fresh-squeezed juices.
- An extensive fresh produce department featureing domestic, specialty, locally grown, seasonal and more than 125 organic fruits and vegetables.
- A sweet shop that features the finest chocolates, gourmet confections, hand-dipped chocolate novelties, homemade fudge and salted caramels, fresh-roasted nuts, organic truffles and a wide selection of dairy- and tree nut-free products for those with special dietary needs.
- An in-store chef demonstration kitchen complete with flat screen monitors and an enhanced sound system for viewing demonstrations and samplings where culinary experts showcase recipes from across the store.
- Authentic sushi chefs making classic Japanese maki rolls, Nigiri, Sashimi, and Bento with the freshest seafood and organic rice.
- An ongoing schedule of in-store events to entertain and educate shoppers, including live music and daily cooking demonstrations from resident and celebrity chefs.
- An expanded health, beauty and wellness department that is filled with natural and organic cosmetics, vitamins, supplements, and personal care products, and staffed with a licensed skin care professional and a licensed dietitian conducting ongoing wellness events and activities.
During the grand opening festivities of Giant Eagle's Market District in Pine Township, Pa.. TLC Network’s “Cake Boss” Buddy Valastro (l) visits with Giant Eagle's Rob Borella.