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SOUTH-CENTRAL : Smart & Final Fetes Reopening

April 04, 1993|JAKE DOHERTY

Smart & Final last week officially reopened its warehouse grocery store at 81st Street and Vermont Avenue nearly a year after the store burned down during last spring's riots.

The new 17,500-square-foot store is 45% larger and has 16 employees.

It is the second Smart & Final store to open in central Los Angeles since December and one of 12 expected to open in Los Angeles County within the next three years, said company spokeswoman Leanne Reynolds.

The store offers warehouse prices on groceries, paper supplies, janitorial goods and frozen foods. It caters to small businesses, clubs and organizations that need goods in large quantities, but about 35% of its business comes from individuals, Reynolds said.

"I'm so happy it's back up," said Ludel Clemons, after shopping at the store. "This is my regular store. It's just walking distance from my home."

The original store was built in 1986 and did not sell beer or wine. Company officials said they are considering whether to apply for a license to sell beer and wine.

Smart & Final has also established a junior college scholarship program for residents of East and South-Central Los Angeles. Over the next five years, $1,000 scholarships will be awarded to 50 students.

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