United Opens 3rd Latino Location, Acquires Food Company

United Supermarkets opened its third Amigos United store this morning in Amarillo, Texas. The location was converted from a traditional United Supermarket, which it had been since it opened in 1986. A major renovation to the site has made room for several new features.

“We have tried to consider our guests’ shopping needs and how they will spend their time in the store,” said Sidney Hopper, COO for the Amigos-United Division. “It is designed to create a shopping experience unlike any other.”

The opening comes nearly two years after the company launched its Amigos brand at its North Columbia location in Plainview. United’s home town of Lubbock, Texas, became the second location for the banner last November.

The new Amarillo store features an open-air dining area, an expanded pharmacy, new menu items such as gorditos, fresh mole and tripitos, and a “liquado” stand, where about a dozen flavors of made-from-scratch fruit cocktails (“aguas frescas”) will be available. The store also includes a new bakery that this location didn’t previously offer, with a wide selection of authentic, fresh-baked pastries and fresh flour tortillas made daily.

In addition, the location boasts an expanded meat department with a new service meat counter offering hard-to-find authentic selections, as well as marinated ready-to-cook items.

Store director Raymond Gaitan said the store’s new look will emphasize simplicity and ease of access. “We are focusing a lot on that,” he said. “There will be plenty of things in the store for guests to sample and to make sure they have a unique, relaxing experience. We are concentrating on a family-oriented theme.”

In other news, United has bought popular local food company Praters Foods, Inc., to continue growing the Praters brand on a national level, and to provide an additional resource with which to serve its stores through an extensive menu of prepared foods, including meals, side dishes, smoked and cooked meats, and soups/sauces.

This marks United’s second venture into manufacturing, following closely on the heels of the opening of the company’s ice-making plant earlier this year. “The benefits of Praters joining the United family are tremendous for our company,” noted Edward Kitten, director of manufacturing for United. “They have an outstanding reputation with our guests, and we look forward to the synergies to be developed between the Praters and United brands. Not only do we plan to expand our guest base and menu nationally, this also will enable us to provide Market Street products in all our banners (United Supermarkets, Market Street and Amigos United).”

Now in its 93rd year of operation, United Supermarkets is a Texas-based, family-owned grocery chain with stores in 30 markets across the northern and western parts of the state. The company operates 50 stores under three distinct formats: United Supermarkets, Market Street, and Amigos United.
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