Somerville's Beacon Street Foodmaster to Become a Whole Foods

Reports that Whole Foods was interested in the site, along with five others in the Boston area, were true, according to an announcement from Johnnie's Foodmaster.

Update, 10:40 a.m.: According to a separate announcement from Whole Foods, the two supermarkets are not disclosing the terms of the agreement.

Whole Foods also said this: "Whole Foods Market has guaranteed interviews to all Johnnie’s Foodmaster employees at the six acquired locations with the goal of hiring as many as possible."

Original story:

It's official: Johnnie's Foodmaster on Beacon Street in Somerville will become a Whole Foods.

According to an announcement sent by Foodmaster Friday morning, the supermarket chain has agreed to transfer six Foodmaster locations in the Boston area to the Texas-based upscale supermarket company.

In addition to the supermarket on Beacon Street, Johnnie's Foodmasters in Charlestown, Arlington, Brookline, Melrose and South Weymouth will be transferred to Whole Foods.

According to the announcement, those supermarkets will likely close sometime before Nov. 30, when the transfer is scheduled to be officially completed.
The announcement says Whole Foods will remodel the buildings and hopes to reopen them at the end of its 2013 fiscal year. Because the company's fiscal year ends at the end of September, that would mean the markets would reopen in late summer or early fall of 2013.

Reports that Whole Foods was interested in the Johnnie's Foodmaster sites surfaced in August. At the time, Somerville Patch readers .

Related coverage

Thoughts? Whole Foods Might Buy Somerville Johnnie's Foodmaster

Melissa Wintturi October 26, 2012 at 01:45 PM
This is awful news. Awful.
Michael Shine October 26, 2012 at 01:51 PM
I can't wait to see the lines at Demoulas now.
Sand Man October 26, 2012 at 01:53 PM
The yuppies must be having fits of ecstasy over this....
Michelle Labbe October 26, 2012 at 02:01 PM
UGH. NO. We do not need another Whole Foods. At least Foodmaster fulfilled a consumer need for affordable groceries.
Neasa October 26, 2012 at 03:03 PM
I really hated that ugly dirty carpet in food master. At least that is going away but agree on losing last more affordable grocery store in the area
Domino October 26, 2012 at 04:37 PM
Go to Market Basket.
Ray DiNitto October 26, 2012 at 04:37 PM
Should have taken Star Market instead....
mplo October 26, 2012 at 08:41 PM
Star Market was bought out by Shaw's years ago.
kevin thomas crowley October 27, 2012 at 01:27 PM
maybe market basket will see an opportunity here and open up a second store.
whatshisname October 27, 2012 at 02:25 PM
RIP Foodmaster. With 4 remaining, it won't be long before they are bought out as well...Market Basket stands to benefit most for purchasing those last 4. Whore Fools? Oh that sucks so much. Their prices are nearly DOUBLE Foodmaster. Market Basket in Somerville is the UN of grocery stores...third world mentality abounds. Hate that location because of the the annoying foreigners.
Serbecca October 27, 2012 at 04:07 PM
I continue to see postings about the customers and their needs. Not one posting talks about the hundreeds of workers that will most likely be out of a job. Not all are going to be skilled or prepared to work for an upscale market. Many are older workers who work to supplement their income. He was quoted yesterday saying Wholefoods will "hopefully hire many of the Foodmaster employees". The owner held a meeting two months ago after this story first broke and told his managers that it was simply not true and that they had nothing to worry about. How can he sleep at night knowing what he has done- I think the public should be thinking about this as well! So DeJesus- what you are you going to do to help all the employees that have worked hard in your company over the years? Can you sleep at night doing this right before the holidays- no severence, no insurance, no nothing?
Ellen Friedman October 27, 2012 at 09:26 PM
I would feel worse about the loss of Foodmaster if it were not such a dump. It's hard to imagine that there a not a lot of health department violations there. I shop at Market Basket all the time and have no complaints about the cleanliness there, but I went into Foodmaster once and left without buying anything because I could not bear the thought of eating anything from there.
Sand Man October 27, 2012 at 10:25 PM
"Annoying foreigners?" Hey Tea Bagger, what planet do you live on? Somerville is a city of IMMIGRANTS! Remember to renew your membership with the Flat-Earth Society....
Concerned Citizen October 27, 2012 at 11:45 PM
Foodmaster has wonderful fresh fruits, veggies, fish and meats and is a nice sized neighborhood supermarket. Their little bakery is cool, selling real Italian rum cake and filling cannolis to order. Now they have a little hot soup section like Farmer Browns in Middleton. The supersized stores drive me crazy when you have to go up and down every aisle to get what you need. It also encourages impulse buying and spending more$$$. Locally owned business is better for local citizens than national megamarkets. Having the choices of several types of supermarkets keeps prices competitive. Goodbye Foodmaster. I think Whole foods is associated/the same as Shaws - the one on Commonwealth Ave Boston, is part Shaws and part Whole Foods. I hope they hire the wonderful people we have come to know and appreciate as we see them each week or so at food shoppng time!
federico October 28, 2012 at 06:32 AM
DeJesus is a dirtbag, the other 4 stores are closing and the employees there have been .told that they are being laid off. Don't believe the crap about Whole foods hiring the people in the 6 stores that were sold. Whole foods has had 2 open houses/career fairs in the last few weeks and has hired/training over 200 new employees before this news broke. I worked at Foodmaster for over 15 years and I'm now working in a non retail related job, but friends of mine who work at Whole foods told me that they will only hire about half of the employees in the stores that they bought. None of the new stores will open until the summer of 2013, but all 10 Foodmasters will close on Nov. 30th
Carol October 28, 2012 at 10:57 AM
Another high end grocery store in Somerville. Just what we need,.. Where were all of you when Wal.Mart Grocery Store was interested in opening near Assesmbly Square? The yuppies fought to keep them out. Instead now we have a "Whole Paycheck" moving in!
Linda October 30, 2012 at 07:24 PM
Federico, can you confirm that all Foodmasters are closing? I like the one on Rt. 16.
Zach November 02, 2012 at 06:39 PM
@Serbecca Whole Foods pays way better! Hires more people and is a growing company with great training programs. They have already said that they will be hiring people from Foodmaster. This is a GOOD THING for those workers!
Robert Donaldson Sr. November 16, 2012 at 04:46 AM
I got my first job at Johnnies. I started at the Beacon St. store, then got transferred to the Alewive store, then to Ball Sq. and finally back to Alewive. The Christmas parties were always a good time. Johnnies will be missed.


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