Small-format grocer Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market on Jan. 18 opened its newest local store at Mission Gorge Road and Cuyamaca Street in Santee.

A company statement said the store employs 20 to 30 people, hired from the local neighborhood. As part of a grand opening ceremony, El Segundo-based Fresh & Easy made a $1,000 donation to Santee Santas Foundation to support its efforts in the neighborhood.

It is the 16th San Diego County store for Fresh & Easy, the U.S. grocery division of British retailer Tesco PLC. The county was spared when the company recently announced the closure of 12 stores in three states.

— Lou Hirsh