Carnival Brings Flagship Grocery Concept to Plano

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Latino-Themed store Carnival Super Market focuses on fresh foods, expanded international selection and "Discover More for Less" approach.

Carnival Food Stores, Inc., unveils its unique, Latino-themed Carnival Super Market format to Plano shoppers today with the grand re-opening of its remodeled store at 3320 K Ave. Devoted to the freshest of everything edible at great prices, the 55,000-square-foot supermarket has undergone a transformation with an expanded international section, new specialty departments, signature products, dental health and medical clinics, and an eye-catching store décor package.

Located just east of Central Expressway at K Avenue and Parker Road in the heart of Plano's retail corridor, the store is the latest Carnival location to be upgraded. The store's innovative approach to grocery retailing reflects the award-winning concept that was introduced to rave reviews in 2006 in Dallas' Oak Cliff neighborhood.

"The changes we've made to this Carnival supermarket bring an even more exciting shopping experience to Collin County," said Michael D. Byars, president and chief executive officer of Coppell, Texas-based Minyard Food Stores, Inc. "After we launched our flagship store, many customers in other areas asked, 'When will there be a Carnival Super Market in my neighborhood?' Now, Plano-area residents can discover more for less at Carnival with the greatest product variety and the freshest foods available at the best prices."

The flagship Carnival Super Market in Oak Cliff won international acclaim and design awards when it opened 19 months ago, and the innovation continues in Plano with a new 440-foot international foods section with specialty products from Latin America, Asia and South Asia, the Middle East and Europe. The section contains brands and foods specifically selected to serve the diverse populations living in the surrounding neighborhoods and others who enjoy ethnic cuisines.

As another 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. In combination with the store's full-service pharmacy, these clinics will allow customers to also enjoy the convenience of one-stop shopping for all their health and wellness needs.

Throughout the store, customers will find products for their daily needs along with specialty items that many other stores don't carry. Carnival stores are known for exceptionally abundant and diverse fresh produce, in-store bakeries and restaurants known as cocinas, and wide-ranging meat and seafood offerings.

"While this Carnival has the Latino emphasis that customers have come to expect, it's really a store for all shoppers because of its focus on freshness and its extensive product mix," said Byars.

The produce department, for example, boasts more than 400 items including 15 varieties of chili peppers all competitively priced with value being a priority. The tortilleria offers piping hot 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.

Each of the fresh food departments, which line the store's perimeter, feature unique "storefronts" delineated by contrasting bold colors and lively graphics. A leaping fish, for example, signifies pescaderia (fresh fish), while a longhorn steer shows where the carniceria (fresh meat) is located. Signage is in both English and Spanish. A feast for the eyes, Carnival also injects whimsy into the shopping experience with sound effects to complement the graphics, such as a crowing rooster where eggs are sold and a mooing cow in the dairy section.

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.

"We strive for freshness and authenticity in everything we deliver to our Carnival customers," said Byars.

While freshness reigns supreme, the remodeled Carnival also provides packaged foods and other non-perishable merchandise selected to offer a wide variety of value-priced products for its neighborhood customers. The center store holds up to 15,000 non-perishable items that include brands, such as Del Monte, Goya, Glory Foods, and Sylvia's, integrated with products like fruit nectars, pastas, and soft drinks imported from Mexico and 14 Central and South American and Asian countries. More than 1,000 value-priced Best Choice and Always Save private label products are also carried across the store.

To help customers enjoy the store's unique offerings, associates at the new Carnival Super Market have gone through an enhanced training program to make sure they are knowledgeable, friendly and helpful.

"Store associates are ready and eager to help customers from all walks of life enjoy what makes shopping at Carnival such a distinctive experience," said Byars.

About Carnival Supermarkets and Minyard Food Stores
Carnival Food Stores (http://www.carnivalsupermarkets.com) 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. With its flagship store in Oak Cliff, Carnival launched a unique approach to the grocery marketplace that it is expanding to other locations. Carnival is owned by Coppell, Texas-based Minyard Food Stores, Inc., the only grocery chain locally owned and headquartered in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. The company also operates 21 Minyard Food Stores and 12 Sack'n Save Warehouse Food Stores.

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Craig McDaniel
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