Remodeled, renamed Omaha grocery thinks outside the can to compete

Julia Juarez, left, shops with daughter Jesika in the expanded produce department at Supermercado Nuestra Familia, formerly Avanza, along Park Avenue between St. Mary's Avenue and Leavenworth Street. The store's new concept emphasizes more variety in perishable items.

The second Supermercado Nuestra Familia grocery store, a former No Frills Supermarket, opens today at 3548 Q St. in South Omaha.

The store, which features specialty Hispanic foods, was acquired last year when parent company Nash Finch bought 12 Bag 'N Save supermarkets and 18 No Frills supermarkets in Nebraska and Iowa.

"We're excited to offer our customers an even wider selection of fresh foods that they appreciate," said store director Jerry Duncan.

Earlier this year, Nash Finch converted the former Avanza grocery store at 2900 Leavenworth St. – on Park Avenue between St. Mary's Avenue and Leavenworth Street – into a Supermercado store. Supermercado, which offers a greater variety of produce and perishable items, replaces the Avanza brand.

Although the two Omaha Supermercados bear a Spanish name and stock many products central to Hispanic cuisine, Nash Finch officials say they hope the stores will become options for anyone.

While store employees will remain the same, the new venue offers several new specialties, including freshly-baked tortillas and an expanded selection of fresh fruits and vegetables and dried chile peppers.

Competition for the Latino community's grocery budget ramped up this year with the opening of a new Walmart Neighborhood Market at 50th and L Streets. The grocery store boasts signs printed in English and Spanish and shelves stocked with a large selection of Hispanic foods. The nearby Stockyards Plaza Hy-Vee at 3505 L. St. also offers a large ethnic grocery selection geared toward the South Omaha community.

The new Supermercado at 36th and Q streets will fire up the chile roaster for the store's grand opening celebration from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. The event features free samples, a local mariachi band and the chance to win a shopping spree giveaway at 2 p.m. or cash giveaway inside the SAC Federal Credit Union money machine.

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