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SmartCo Foods is hiring hundreds for its new Colorado stores

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After more than a hundred years of supplying restaurants in the West with discount groceries, California-based Smart & Final has started SmartCo Foods, and is opening its first five stores in various Colorado locations.

Smart & Final already owns the Henry's, SunHarvest and Cash & Carry grocery stores.Two of the new SmartCo stores will be located in Denver proper; the remaining three in Littleton, Centennial and Longmont.

Randall Oliver, Smart & Final director of Corporate Communications,says the SmartCo concept "combines the best features of a supermarket, a warehouse club store, and a farmer's market and puts it in one easy-to-shop store ... It will be a place where people can get top-quality groceries, but certainly value is the primary message."

Produce will be key to the farmer's market component, he says, featuring both "conventional as well as organic or natural products," bulk bins and, Oliver hopes, locally supplied products wherever possible. The stores, which will occupy former Albertson's locations, will also have deli counters and offer large quantities of certain items at discount prices.

Why Colorado?

"There is no similar type of store in the Denver marketplace," Oliver says. "We see that as a need for Denver, and we think it will be very much welcomed. It will also be good for us as a retailer."

Smart & Final has such hopes for this state that's already planning an additional 20 to 25 stores over the next few years, Oliver says. The first location at 1442 Parker Road, is slated to open in late June, with the next four scheduled to open their doors in July.

The new supermarkets are looking to hire somewhere in the neighborhood of 500 employees to staff their check-out lines and aisles. A quick Google search reveals job postings splashed all over the Internet, and a job fair is slated for My 20-21 at the Holiday Inn Denver East - Stapleton at 3333 Quebec Street from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

For more information, e-mail ColoradoJobs@smartandfinal.com or send a fax to 303-869-7880.

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