Ahold USA To Purchase Eastside Marketplace

Scott Laurans, owner and president of Eastside Marketplace, an upscale supermarket for the past 33 years on the east side of Providence, R.I., announced an agreement to sell the supermarket to a subsidiary of Ahold USA. The sale is expected to close on or about Aug. 2. The intention is for the Eastside Marketplace employees and management team to remain in place, running the business as Eastside Marketplace. Mr. Laurans will remain in an advisory role, and General Manager Brian Pacheco will continue in his current position, managing all aspects of the business.

James McCann, chief operating officer for Ahold USA, said, “We are very happy to welcome Eastside Marketplace to the Ahold family of stores. We have a great deal of respect for Scott, Brian and their team. Eastside Marketplace is a terrific community asset and, with this transaction, Ahold USA is looking forward to working with the Eastside Marketplace team to do great things together.” Tracey Pawelski, Ahold spokesperson, was asked if purchasing an independent was a new strategy for Ahold USA. She replied, “We are always interested in growing our business. This acquisition enables Ahold USA to serve even more customers in Providence, R.I., with a unique store that has been a centerpiece in the community since 1981.”

In other company news, Stop & Shop announced a partnership with more than 41 local farmers for farm-fresh produce grown within nearby communities. On Saturday, July 26, Stop & Shop New England hosted a “Here We Grow” event at all of its 213 stores to celebrate locally grown produce.

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Market Basket Workers Maintain Stance On Arthur T. Demoulas

Market Basket workers, following a rally in July 25, maintained a stance to slow deliveries and urge a customer boycott until former ousted president Arthur T. Demoulas is reinstated.

In a release, workers said, “This has been and will continue to be non-negotiable. We also want to be clear in a message to any other potential buyer that we will work for no other CEO.”

The Market Basket Board of Directors held a meeting in Boston Friday morning July 25 at the same time thousands of people rallied at a Tewksbury store to reinstate Arthur T. Demoulas as president. A day before the board meeting, Mr. Demoulas offered to buy out all of the remaining shareholders in Market Basket. Mr. Demoulas currently is a major shareholder of the company. The Arthur T. Demoulas side of the family has made an offer to buy the 50.5 percent of shares in Demoulas Market Basket Supermarkets.

Following the meeting, the board revealed more than one offer to buy the company has been received and will review Mr. Demoulas proposal along with “any offers previously received and to be received in coming days.” The board has hired JP Morgan Chase & Co, to evaluate bids and aid the board in making make a recommendation to shareholders.

The board also reaffirmed its support for co-chief executives Felicia Thornton and James Gooch and urged employees to return to work. “The negative behavior of certain current and former associates is at variance with the company’s culture of putting the needs of Market Basket customers first. It is now clear that it is in the interests of all members of the Market Basket community for normal business operations to resume immediately.” We welcome back associates who are committed to Market Basket customers. There will be no penalty or discipline for any associate who joins in what will be a significant effort to return to the unparalled level of performance and customer service that have been hallmarks of the Market Basket brand,” according to a company release.

Last week drivers stopped making deliveries. A few vendors and replacement drivers hired by the company’s new management are delivering product to some stores.

In another development, the website www.wearemarketbasket.com has established a fund under the site Go Fund Me to help administrative assistants, office clerical workers, truck drivers and warehouse workers. As of Monday morning, July 28, the fund is nearing $40,000.

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Roche Bros. Opens Second Brothers Marketplace

Roche Bros. will open its second Brothers Marketplace in Medfield, Mass., on July 30. The market will emphasize local producers and vendors that have been handpicked by store associates, including Armeno Coffee from Northborough, Julie’s Z Breads from Medway, produce from Tangerini’s Farm in Millis and many others. “We are excited to bring Brothers Marketplace to Medfield and see the concept come to life in its full expression,” said Rick Roche, co-owner and chief executive officer of Roche Bros. “Medfield has a wonderful town center to explore and linger in, and we hope this new and unique market becomes a favorite neighborhood grocery and dining experience for residents.” The store feature an in-store diner and a bakery cafe that has indoor and outdoor seating.

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Latest Word in Supermarket News...

Stop Shop & Save plans to close all remaining stores in the Baltimore, Md., area, leaving a void in the area.

• Following a recall by Wawona Packing Co., Giant Food of Landover, Md., and Stop & Shop removed from sale its organic peaches and nectarines and certain Orchard Perfect peaches, nectarines and plums due to the potential of Listeria.

• The Conn. Food Assn. Person of the Year Banquet will be Oct. 16 at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn., and will honor Bob Palmer, executive vice president of sales & chief procurement officer for C&S Wholesale Grocers.

• The Mass. Food Assn. will induct Ron Hodge, former chief executive officer of Delhaize America Operations, and Bob Trumbour (posthumously) in the MFA Hall of Fame at the group’s Nov. 5 annual meeting. Mr. Trumbour was a longstanding employee of JOH. The MFA recipients for the group’s Community Service Awards are David Krueger of Acosta Sales & Marketing and Big Y Foods.

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