This video shows Giant Eagle spokesperson Rob Borella talking about some of the features of the store. The tour took place December 2.


Cuyahoga Falls -- There's a new market in town that offers shoppers a variety of choices for basic grocery needs as well as fresh, hot, gourmet and imported foods and drinks.

The Pittsburgh-based Giant Eagle grocery store chain opened its newest Market District store on Dec. 4 in the Portage Crossing development at 2687 State Road in Cuyahoga Falls. The Market District is 93,000 square feet, employing approximately 350 full-time and part-time employees.

This "new world of food" is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, according to a press release from Giant Eagle. The store is one of two anchors at Portage Crossing, Stark Enterprises' $60 million development project on the site of the former State Road Shopping Center. The other anchor is Cinemark which opened to the general public on Dec. 5 (See story on Page 12).

Head judge of Bravo's Emmy-award winning televised cooking competition Top Chef and James Beard Award winner Tom Colicchio participated in the grand opening celebration Dec. 4. Colicchio joined Giant Eagle CEO Laura Karet in preparing a special dish and participated in a pre-registered customer in-store appearance, book signing, and cooking demonstration, promoting his book "Craft of Cooking."

The Portage Crossing Market District also made a $1,000 donation to the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank.

The Portage Crossing Market District is the second location set in the Akron area, complementing the Green Market District that opened in November 2013, according to the press release. While the Portage Crossing Market District features many of the sights and smells of the Green location, the new store also has offerings that are unique to the area. The store's Avenue Sandwich Shop, for example, features made-fresh-to-order sandwiches named to reflect the streets, character and communities of the Akron area, such as the "Riverfront" and "Falls River Square" sandwiches. Paintings on the walls of the in-store restaurant depict local heroes Jim Brown and The Black Keys.

Workers from the local, regional and corporate levels were working together to complete final preparations on Dec. 2. In the artisan cheese shop, certified "cheese mongers" busily stacked wheels and chunks of imported and domestic cheeses. In the sweets shop, popcorn was being popped. Live lobsters from Maine bobbed in a tank behind the seafood counter. A fireplace glowed in the beer and wine store. Upstairs, employees set up office with their laptops and coffee in the in-store restaurant.

"We are excited to open our fourth Market District in Northeast Ohio in the past 16 months, demonstrating our commitment to offering the best of both traditional and unique fare, and our passion for educating customers about the endless culinary possibilities available to them," said Giant Eagle spokesperson Rob Borella. "With a delicious combination of foods from around the world as well as those close to home, the Portage Crossing Market District and the team members who bring it to life can help customers master any eating occasion."

Prices are comparable to other Giant Eagle stores in the Akron area, Borella said. Checkout lines are broken down into three types: regular, express and do-it-yourself. Those lining up for the regular checkout lanes have a screen at the end of the line that tells them which lane is available next.

The Portage Crossing store will replace the nearby Cuyahoga Falls Giant Eagle, which closed Dec. 3, the press release stated.

The store's restaurant offerings include hand-rolled sushi, stone hearth pizza and a Sizzling Wok. Customers looking for ready-to-eat meal solutions can also visit the Smoke & Fire rotisserie, hot soup bar and the Avenue Sandwich Shop.

The newest location also features a beer, wine and liquor department with 800 beers, 2,300 varieties of wine, and more than 1,000 spirits. In addition, there is a full-service wine and draft beer bar and a restaurant café featuring seating for 104 indoors and 88 outdoors.

Those interested in finding ingredients for meals they plan to make at home will find a variety of meat and seafood offerings, a charcuterie, a bulk foods area, and a produce section featuring a variety of conventional and organic items.

Customers can visit the cooking demonstration area, where Market District chefs will share recipe ideas daily. The store also features Market District's take on more traditional departments, such as bakery, dairy, and health, beauty and wellness, complete with a pharmacy with drive-thru access.

As it does in its traditional stores, this site will also offer weekly specials, a pharmacy offering with free blood pressure medications and free PRENATAL PLUS® vitamins, the opportunity to earn fuelperks!® when scanning a Giant Eagle Advantage Card® and more.

There is also a Starbucks kiosk and a full-service Huntington Bank branch inside the store.

The store can be reached at 330-928-6669.

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