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    Kroger, Murray’s Cheese Slice Partnership into “Fresh Fare” Concept

    The leading grocer and renowned cheese purveyor has opened the first of three Murray's Cheese departments planned in Cincinnati-area supermarkets

    Offering customers an authentic artisan cheese experience, knowledgeable hands-on service, and exceptional value, The Kroger Co. and Murray’s Cheese, the country’s foremost cheese purveyor, today debuted the first-ever Murray's location outside of New York City in the new Kenwood Towne Place Kroger store near Cincinnati.

    Jeff Burt, Kroger’s v.p. of deli bakery merchandising, said the alliance with Murray’s was right on time, because its mix of enhanced service and an expanded selection adds up to exceptional value.

    Burt said the two retailers created an unusual direct-to-store cheese distribution system that ensures optimal condition of the products and competitive prices.

    The first of the three Murray's Cheese departments set to open in the next few weeks is inside the Kenwood Towne Place Kroger. Rob Kaufelt, Murray’s owner and renowned cheese monger, said the store-within-a-store closely resembles his flagship in Greenwich Village in Manhattan. The other two will be in stores in Hyde Park Plaza and Liberty Township.

    Stocked with more than 500 items, including cheeses, crackers, dried fruits, and olives, and cheese departments will be staffed by Kroger employees who have received rigorous cheese service training. Murray's experts created an encyclopedic 300-page cheese service guide exclusively for the partnership and spent a month in Cincinnati further educating their Kroger counterparts.

    "Our mission is to bring great cheese to as wide an audience as possible,” said Kaufelt, noting that the partnership with the nation’s leading grocery chain “is a huge step toward that goal.”

    Kaufelt also praised Kroger as the right partner. “I have spent many years building Murray's reputation, and I would not have agreed to this partnership without complete confidence that Kroger is committed to offering a cheese program to which I can proudly attach my company's name.”

    Now, the Kroger employees manning these Murray's Cheese departments will be able to provide the same level of service as Murray's employees in New York City.

    The inaugural Murray's Cheese department will be in a new "Fresh Fare by Kroger" concept that also packs one-stop-shopping alternatives with a broader array of services than traditional supermarkets, Kroger said.

    The Kenwood Fresh Fare by Kroger will also feature a wine shop, a bakery, a full-service sushi bar, and "The Bistro," a seating area where customers can enjoy chef-prepared meals on site or off premise.

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