VONS BRINGS MANHATTAN BAGEL INTO SEVEN UNITS

ARCADIA, Calif. -- Vons Cos., based here, has announced the arrival of Manhattan Bagel bakeries in Vons and Pavilion stores."We're trying out Manhattan Bagels in seven locations initially," said Vons spokesman Doug Hendrix.Three or four additional in-store units are expected to open by the end of the year, according to a statement issued by Manhattan Bagel, based in Eatontown, N.J.The seven stores

ARCADIA, Calif. -- Vons Cos., based here, has announced the arrival of Manhattan Bagel bakeries in Vons and Pavilion stores.

"We're trying out Manhattan Bagels in seven locations initially," said Vons spokesman Doug Hendrix.

Three or four additional in-store units are expected to open by the end of the year, according to a statement issued by Manhattan Bagel, based in Eatontown, N.J.

The seven stores are in San Diego, Laguna Niguel, Carlsbad, Rancho Santa Margarita, Long Beach and Simi Valley, all in California.

In some stores, Manhattan Bagel units will be located adjacent to the in-store bakery, according to Rocco Fiorentino, Manhattan Bagel's director of business development.

Although Hendrix acknowledged that Vons does have its own bagel program, he declined to comment on how this might be affected by the addition of Manhattan Bagels.

"It is not Vons' intention to have us compete with them on bagels," said Fiorentino. "The purpose is to increase the quality of their current program by baking a fresh bagel in the store and probably replacing the wholesale delivered products."

Measuring between 400 square feet to 450 square feet, Manhattan Bagel units will offer Vons' and Pavilion's shoppers its signature 21 varieties of bagels and 35 types of cream cheese spreads, along with breakfast and lunch sandwiches and hot and cold beverages.

Currently, Manhattan Bagel also operates within three Kroger supermarkets in Georgia and North Carolina.