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Grocer to fill Raley's building
Rancho San Miguel Markets will be occupying the empty Raley's store on Hatch Road, the company announced last week.

Raley's closed its store on Sept. 1, citing high rent and disappointing sales after a 12-year run. At that time city officials heard rumors that the PAQ Foods chain was interested in opening a store in Ceres.

Stephanie James, the Human Resources manager for Food 4 Less & Rancho San Miguel Markets said the store needs to hire a crew to staff all departments in the new Ceres store, including grocery, dairy and produce stockers, meat cutters and meat clerks, bakers, cake decorators, cooks, deli, salsa bar and kitchen helpers, cashiers and utility clerks.

James said her company is looking for friendly and outgoing applicants and said bi-lingual skills are a plus since the store caters to Mexican clientele. The store is hosting a Job Fair at the Ceres Community Center, 2701 Fourth Street, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both Friday, Feb. 3 and Saturday, Feb. 4.

The company website states that the chain provides employee benefits including competitive salary, medical, dental and prescription insurance, vacation pay, 401k salary savings plans, and an employee Assistance Program.

A locally owned supermarket group, PAQ Inc. has stores throughout Central California. In 1995, PAQ Inc., purchased two Food 4 Less grocery stores in Stockton, and Lodi. PAQ, doing business as Food 4 Less, is now also serving Ceres, Manteca, Los Banos, Salinas, Atascadero, San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles. The chain recognized a unique opportunity to serve the Hispanic population growing in the Valley and in 2005 opened Rancho San Miguel Market in Stockton. Later stores were opened Lodi, Merced and Madera.

"PAQ Inc. is recognized for its clean stores and friendly team members," reads the company's website, "PAQ Inc. believes in treating guests, team members and suppliers fairly and honestly."

The news of the filling of the vacant building was welcome in the Ceres Marketplace shopping center. The center is home to a number of businesses in eating establishments Papa Murphy's and Mountain Mike's pizza eateries, IHOP, Carls Jr. and La Morenita. Other businesses are Staples, Queen's Nails, Signature Dental, Sally Beauty Salon, Titan Insurance, Advance America Check Cashing, Jackson Hewitt Tax Service and Super Cuts.

An exact opening date could not be pinned down.