Whole Foods Market will be purchasing leases for six Johnnie's Foodmaster locations, including the one in Melrose, according to press statements released by both companies Friday morning.
John DeJesus, second generation owner of Johnnie’s Foodmaster, officially announced his decision to transfer six of Foodmaster’s 10 locations across the Boston metro area to Whole Foods Market.
“The time was right to make this change for our company,” DeJesus said in the statement. “I am confident that we have found the best partner that offers the most positive outcome not only for our employees but for the communities as well.”
In late August, Whole Foods was reportedly interested in purchasing Johnnie's Foodmaster locations.
Whole Foods Market has agreed to become the tenant for the six Foodmaster locations in Melrose, Arlington, Charlestown, Brookline, South Weymouth and Beacon Street in Somerville, according to the statements. Interviews will be offered to all of six stores’ employees with the goal of hiring as many as possible, the statements add.
“We are so pleased that Mr. DeJesus has given us this opportunity at a time when we are looking to expand our presence in greater Boston,” said Laura Derba, president of Whole Foods Market’s North Atlantic region, in a statement. “Like Foodmaster, Whole Foods Market has a long history of supporting the communities we serve and we are excited to bring our fresh, quality foods at affordable prices to these six new market areas.”
DeJesus anticipates closing the operations at the six locations before the transaction is completed on Nov. 30, according to the statements. Whole Foods Market anticipates remodeling the stores with the goal of re-opening all six before the end of its 2013 fiscal year, the statements add.
“I want to extend my sincerest appreciation to the wonderful employees in the six locations who have provided excellent service to our loyal shoppers for so many years,” DeJesus said in the statement. “I also want to express my gratitude for the customers who have embraced Johnnie’s Foodmaster in these communities as their family grocer for more than 50 years.”
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