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Whole Foods Market is in talks to buy or lease some of the Johnnie’s Foodmaster locations, according to local reports.
The Austin, Texas-based organic food retailer is interested in six of the 10 Johnnie’s Foodmaster sites in the Boston-area communities of Arlington, Charlestown, Brookline, South Weymouth, Melrose and Somerville, reports Boston.com.
Whole Foods already operates 21 organic foods stores in the Bay State, and its possible expansion through acquistion comes at a time when other retailers, including Wegmans, are planning more supermarkets in the area.
Johnnie’s Foodmaster dates back to 1947 when John DeJesus, Sr. opened his first food market in East Cambridge. Today, John's son John A. DeJesus leads the family-owned chain of stores, which includes Johnnie's Fresh Market.
If the Johnnie’s Foodmaster deal goes through, it won’t be the first time Whole Foods has acquired a Boston-area chain. Back in 1992, Whole Foods acquired natural food retailer Bread & Circus.