Giant Food Stores LLC is kicking off its new partnership with the iconic Berenstain Bears franchise by celebrating the Dec. 18 grand opening of The Berenstain Bears Treehouse at the banner’s flagship store in Camp Hill, Pa.
Mike Berenstain, second-generation author and illustrator of the popular children’s book series, joins Giant Food Stores President Nicholas Bertram at a 9:30 a.m. unveiling ceremony at the store. At the event, Berenstain will host two readings for local children and sign autographs. Kids will also be able to prepare healthy bear-themed snacks, take photos with costumed Berenstain Bears characters, complete a treehouse activity and get a free Berenstain Bears book.
“Simplifying the shopping experience for the busy families we serve, so they have time to focus on what matters most—each other—is a constant priority for our team,” noted Bertram. “Since being introduced in 2005, our Treehouse space has been a safe and fun place for kids to be kids, one that parents can feel good about their kids being in as they shop, and that’s something we’re very proud to be able to offer families. A renowned Pennsylvania brand, The Berenstain Bears were a natural fit for us as we began to reimagine this space, because for more than 50 years, they’ve helped create strong families and communities through their books.”
The stories, begun in the 1960s by Philadelphians Stan and Jan Berenstain (Mike’s parents), provide simple solutions to the common challenges of everyday families.
“The Berenstain Bears offer an engaging and relatable approach to helping kids and families navigate life in a positive way,” said Mike Berenstain. “Giant and the Bears make perfect partners because of our common focus on supporting families and communities.”
In addition to featuring the familiar characters of Mama, Papa, Brother, Sister and Honey Bear, the treehouse encourages imaginative play in an environment conducive to healthy eating, physical fitness and good health practices. The space also offers a reading nook, an area for coloring, and free healthy fruit.
What’s more, the treehouse’s three play areas each feature a different Berenstain Bears story:
- A mini Giant store (referencing “The Berenstain Bears Go Grocery Shopping”), where young customers can choose healthy play foods from the shelves, scan items at working self-checkouts and cook make-believe meals
- An outdoor-themed space with a tepee (based on “The Berenstain Bears Blaze a Trail”), where kids can complete different activities to earn a Tree House Merit Badge
- A health-and-wellness area (inspired by “The Berenstain Bears Go to the Doctor”), where youngsters can play with a stethoscope, explore the systems of the body and learn ways to stay healthy.
As previously, the full-time child care leader and part-time child care team members undergo background checks, CPR certification, first aid training and drug testing.
In 2020, Giant plans to convert the treehouse child care spaces at five stores into Berenstain Bears Treehouses; the stores are located in Harrisburg (Linglestown Road), Jennersville, Royersford, and Willow Grove, Pa., as well as a Martin’s location in Eldersburg, Md.
Added Bertram, “Having read these books as a kid myself and reading them to my own kids years later, the stories still resonate today, and I know kids and adults alike are going to love our new and improved treehouse, brought to life by the beloved Berenstain Bears.”
Carlisle, Pa.-based Giant Food Stores operates 181 stores, 132 pharmacies, 102 fuel stations, more than 100 online pickup hubs, and a grocery delivery service in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia, employing nearly 32,000 associates. The Giant Food Stores family of brands encompasses Giant, Martin’s Food Markets, Giant Heirloom Market, Giant Direct and Martin’s Direct. Parent company Ahold Delhaize USA is No. 4 on Progressive Grocer's 2019 Super 50 list of the top grocers in the United States.