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CORNELIUS, Ore. -- Sounds from Mariachi band Gallos de America last week signaled the opening of Oregon’s newest Hispanic supermarket, a 35,000-square-foot store featuring a selection of food items from North, Central, and South America.
The store, under the Grande Foods banner, is the first and largest "full-Hispanic" store in the state, according to Bruce Varney, spokesman for the retailer. “Most of the Hispanic food retailers are small shops,” Varney told Progressive Grocer. Meanwhile, "The Hispanic market in this region has grown 245 percent over the past five years," he said. "They now account for 37 percent of the town’s population. The store was developed to recognize that reality."
The new Grande saw almost 3,000 transactions on its grand opening day, Varney added.
The supermarket will have specific areas for many Hispanic gourmet items, cheeses, spices, beverages, condiments, and personal care products, as well as an extensive selection of traditional grocery products, national brands, and private label brands.
Grande's departments include:
- A 5,000-square-foot section of fresh local and Latin American produce, such as coconuts, tomatillos, plantanos, chiles, mangos, and papayas.
- A full-service bakery specializing in pan dulces, specialty breads, and cake decorating for special occasions.
- A tortilleria preparing and serving fresh tortillas.
- A carneceria, or traditional Hispanic meat market, featuring fresh shellfish, fish, beef, pork, and poultry. The carneceria is staffed by butchers who have received training to cut meats for accurate preparation of specific Latino recipes.
- The cocina, a 40-seat deli that will serve traditional American and Hispanic foods for take out or eat in.
More than 70 percent of Grande Foods’ 100 employees are bilingual, and signage is in Spanish and English.