BASHAS' DEBUTS FOOD COURT FORMAT
CHANDLER, Ariz. — Bashas' last week debuted a new store format in Goodyear, Ariz., featuring a food court that offers customers a wide range of Italian, Asian and American cuisine, including paninis, fried rice, stuffed peppers, Mongolian beef and fresh pizza. An indoor/outdoor seating area allows shoppers to enjoy these prepared foods at the store, and a dedicated food court, checkout area and special “to go” section of the parking lot speed up and simplify takeout ordering. The department also features a catering service for local businesses and families, as well as a Starbucks kiosk with Wi-Fi access. “This is a one-of-a-kind store design for our Bashas' format,” store director Steve Stover said in a release. “We're anticipating a great response from residents and businesses in Goodyear.” The store held a special preview party last Tuesday evening, offering local residents the chance to sample products from the new food court and register to win prizes from Bashas', including take-home giveaways and Bashas' gift cards.
U.S. AVOCADO CROP FACES SHORTAGES
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The 2009 domestic avocado crop may yield the lightest harvest in 20 years, according to a report last week by the California Farm Bureau Federation. Several factors were cited, including a hard freeze in January 2007, wildfires that damaged California avocado groves later that year, water restrictions, poor pollination, pest infestations and avocado trees' tendency to alternate between heavy and light crops year to year. Meanwhile, agriculture officials in Florida are concerned that an ambrosia beetle infestation could significantly damage their state's $30 million avocado crop in the coming months.