ONTARIO, Calif. — Pro's Ranch Markets here said it is scheduled to open its first Texas store, in El Paso, this Wednesday. The 77,000-square-foot Hispanic-oriented store, which will be located in a former Smith's Food & Drug Center that's been closed for more than three years, will be the ninth Pro's location, joining four stores in Central California and four in the Phoenix area. Mike Provenzano, president and chief executive officer, said the company plans to open its first New Mexico store, in Albuquerque, during the first quarter of 2008, with three more stores scheduled to open in the Phoenix area next year, including the chain's first ground-up unit in Mesa. He described the Pro's stores as "very upscale, comparable to a Whole Foods," with a broad array of fresh, store-made products, including Mexican rolls; chorizo; salsas; and corn, flour and whole-wheat tortillas. The store also features an expansive food-service section with Mexican specialties made with products from other sections of the store, and an “aguas frescas” bar serving Hispanic beverages.
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