COSTA MESA — Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market will open a new store at Newport and Harbor boulevards in February, company and city officials said Wednesday.

Located in the Costa Mesa Courtyards shopping center, the one-level store will be about 10,000 square feet, said Brendan Wonnacott, communications director for Fresh & Easy, a U.S. division of the British supermarket giant Tesco.

The store will have the same general layout as most Fresh & Easy locations and feature the signature in-store kitchen, where customers can sample prepared dishes, fresh produce, health and beauty products, and partial deli and bakery sections.

Fresh & Easy is one of several new tenants in the center — the others being BevMo and CVS — that are helping to bring in new business to the center, said Planning Commission Chairman Jim Righeimer, who was recently elected to the City Council.

"What they're doing over there is very important in anchoring the center in a way that it's good for the businesses, and it's good for the community around that area," Righeimer said.

Fresh & Easy also plans to open a location near El Toro Road and Trabuco Road in Lake Forest about the same time.

The Lake Forest and Costa Mesa locations each will hire about 20 to 25 employees, Wonnacott said.

There are 11 other locations in Orange County and 107 in California. Existing locations near Costa Mesa are in Fountain Valley and Santa Ana.

Depending on the season, as much as 65% of the produce sold in stores comes from California growers, Wonnacott said.

Sarah Peters