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    Fresh & Easy to Open First Stores in Bakersfield

    Tesco's small format grocery store is expanding to central California.

    BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -- Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market will open its first two stores in Bakersfield, Calif. on Dec. 3. They will join three other previously- announced locations opening in California's Kern County.

    "We look forward to bringing great jobs, and quality, affordable food to neighborhoods in Kern County," said Tim Mason, Fresh & Easy's CEO.

    The company is also giving back to the community. Fresh & Easy will present a donation to a local non-profit organization as part of the store-opening festivities. For the past few weeks, Fresh & Easy has been receiving nominations from the neighborhood on its Web site for an organization to receive a $1,000 contribution. The stores' new employees will vote on submissions and choose the winner to be named at the opening-day celebrations.

    Each Fresh & Easy location will employ 20 to 30 people, and intends to hire from the local neighborhood. The company provides the opportunity for all employees to work at least 20 hours, which entitles them to comprehensive healthcare and competitive benefits. Entry-level positions will pay well over the minimum wage, starting at $10 an hour in California, with a potential quarterly bonus of up to 10 percent.

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