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Rainbow's new store opens for business

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Vicky Johnson of Roseville, Minn., checks prices as name tags wait for new employees Friday at the Rainbow Foods store in Crossroads Shopping Center. Rochester's second Rainbow Foods store celebrated its grand opening this morning in the Crossroads Shopping Center.

Mayor Chuck Hazama, Chamber of Commerce President Dick Granchalek, Rainbow Foods Division President Sid Applebaum and Gateway Foods Inc. President Rudy Comchoc were expected to attend the 9 a.m. ribbon cutting.

Housed in the former Sears Roebuck &; Co. department store on the shopping center's north end, the 62,000-square-foot store was renovated at a cost of $1.68 million.

The 200-employee, 24-hour store offers courtesy bagging, a food court, a frozen yogurt bar, a fresh salad bar, video movie rentals, a McGlynn's Bakery, a deli, natural food centers, fresh fruit and juice bars, in-store sausage factories, parcel pick-up, gift certificates, flower stores, bank card cash machines and photo finishing.

The Rainbow store takes the place of the Mr. P's grocery store on Crossroads' south end, which closed today. Gateway purchased all four Mr. P's stores from chain founder Dick Prochazka of Rochester in early August.

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The La Crosse, Wis.-based company also operates stores at Silver Lake and Hillcrest shopping centers in Rochester under the Mr. P's name. But negotiations have begun to sell those stores to independent grocers and convert them to Jubilee Foods, a name licensed by Gateway.

Rochester's first Rainbow foods opened in the old Mr. P's grocery store in the Maplewood Square Shopping Center in the city's northwest quadrant. That project involved only a relatively small expansion.

Gateway is one of the region's largest wholesale foods distributors. It is owned by Scrivner Inc. of Oklahoma City, the third-largest wholesaler in the country.

The Minneapolis-based Rainbow Foods is one of Gateway's two retailing divisions. It operates 28 supermarkets in the Twin Cities. The other retail division, Brooks Food Markets, has 30 convenience stores in the metropolitan area.@etp

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