A Farewell to Johnnie's

Johnnie's loyalists are getting together for a final goodbye at 4 p.m. today. The grocery store will close for good at 5 p.m. Sunday.

Johnnie’s neighbors and loyal customers are gathering outside their beloved grocery store at 4 p.m. today to say goodbye to the store and, more importantly, its employees.

“The store has been a center of neighborhood life, and the employees, they are more than just employees – they’ve become friends,” wrote Arlington resident Carol Band, who lives down the street from Johnnie’s and emailed Arlington Patch about the informal get-together.

The store, along with the nine other Johnnie’s, all of which are in the Boston area, will close for good at the end of the business day on Sunday, which is at 5 p.m. in Arlington.


What will you miss most about Johnnie’s? Let us know by posting a comment below.


In early November, the Chelsea-based chain announced that all of its locations would be closing and liquidation sales began shortly thereafter. Prior to that announcement, in late October, the chain said that six of its locations, including the one in Arlington, would become Whole Foods.

Whole Foods is planning to remodel the buildings and hopes to reopen them in the late summer or early fall of 2013, according to an earlier press release from the Texas-based supermarket chain.

Johnnie’s Foodmaster was started by John DeJesus Sr. in East Cambridge in 1947. The chain is now run by his son, John A. DeJesus.

saul glick November 17, 2012 at 09:47 PM
i am going to miss Johnnies. I will especially miss seeing the DUDE with the beard, who wore the mini-skirt, and the hat with the feather in it. always was a real treat seeing him/her occasionally.
Old Lady November 18, 2012 at 02:39 AM
I will miss Johnnie's fish department.
Wind Dummy 25 November 18, 2012 at 03:02 AM
I'll miss the easy parking and the convenience...
doing my best November 18, 2012 at 05:02 AM
the pleasant staff, the personal service (not self-scan impersonal often broken computers), the grocery baggers (did yuoi know hta at some other grocery stores the staff is forbidden to bag for those going through self-scan???)... I'll miss that it still felt a bit like the old First National. Remember that one?
doing my best November 18, 2012 at 05:03 AM
And please excuse all the typos in the entry above... too late to type well!
Tim November 18, 2012 at 01:39 PM
I hear A local Blog Is going out of business also. Not sad to see that blog is going out.
Nicole Knobloch November 18, 2012 at 05:14 PM
I will miss Johnnie's bakery, which is much better than WF's, the old-timey feeling and the cheap seasonal items, like 99c Christmas napkins. The store reminds me of my granny in a good way, and I'm sorry to see it go. I like Whole Foods too, and I'm sure I'll get used to it, but it's too bad. And I'm very sorry to see Johnnie's employees, who are very pleasant, lose their jobs right before the holidays.
Big Jim November 18, 2012 at 05:57 PM
Johnnie's bakery deceptively appeared to be a high point, because it was in the store, but the finished goods weren't all that great. And, sorry, but by high New England seafood standards, you were taking a real chance on the fish, And lastly, as I said before - yes it was uncrowded and therefore had fast checkout and easy parking, but a store cannot survive if that's the only perks thay can give the customers.
Matt November 18, 2012 at 06:57 PM
She needs a new hobby.
Matt November 18, 2012 at 06:58 PM
Very true Saul.
Matt November 18, 2012 at 07:00 PM
Good luck to all the employees. I hope everyone is proud of their election choices.
saul glick November 18, 2012 at 07:33 PM
Matt: The people who voted for Obama have no clue what Obamacare is going to do to them. But on a bright note, Obamacare may force workers, who are downsized by Obamacare, to Unionize, and force businesses to hire full time workers. They have no idea what is going to happen to their jobs.
saul glick November 18, 2012 at 07:44 PM
Rebecca...Companies are hiring consultants, for Obamacare interpretation, and loopholes, much like they hire tax accountants for tax loopholes. The losers in the end are going to be the employees. You have no idea what you voted for. Your job, and millions of others, could be gone by 2014. There is still time to change the loopholes, but the way congress works, i doubt it.
Matt November 18, 2012 at 07:49 PM
Sit back and watch the show Saul. The complete lack of respect America has now around the world is why so much unrest is taking place in the world. Between all the businesses closing and the world on the edge of a world war I hope people realize what this election has done to each and every one of us.
saul glick November 18, 2012 at 07:59 PM
Yes Matt. I hope the people who support the Obamacare mandate, and voted for him, know what this means to their livelihoods. This is only one of thousands of senarios. http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2012/11/05/obamacare-drops-full-time-employment/
Wind Dummy 25 November 18, 2012 at 08:05 PM
Saul I agree that the Obama voters have 0 clues, especially about business. How can unemployed Union members force business to hire full time when the business can't or have no need to hire FT? Even then business will be forced to probably would opt out of offering health care altogether. Any potential employees will have Obama care and business will just absorb penalties. At an extra $1.80 plus per hour per employee that would be nuts to hire more full timers. especially in the low profit retail food biz. And with more & continued crushing regulations (RIP most small family owned business) Obama care was always a job killer, along with it's other costly issues... I'm sorry to say, but that was the intended miserable plan all along. We could all have had the classic Caddy, but instead picked the 1977 "Dodge Dent" with the blown engine...We have big problems
Joe Beck November 18, 2012 at 08:07 PM
I will miss the choice. If I want star fruit, I go to Stop and Shop, if I want organic escargots, I go to Whole Foods and I deal with what is involved in shopping at those places. If I want a USDA Choice, Black Angus, 12 oz. New York Strip, six English muffins, and a four pack of Scott toilet paper for under $15 and be in and out in five minutes, I went to Johnnies. Clean, friendly, no non-sense, good selection, easy to get to, easy to park, no long walks around a huge store, no long lines, every item has a price tag on it and good music to listen to. Every day, everywhere I go, things cost more, Johnnies was one place where everything cost less. It’s not the end of the world, it’s just things won’t be as good as they used to be. I wish the best to all the people who made Johnnies such a fine place to shop.
saul glick November 18, 2012 at 08:15 PM
Yes Joe, my feelings also. But i won't miss the seafood selection.
Wind Dummy 25 November 19, 2012 at 03:35 AM
Now that's news
Tim November 19, 2012 at 01:35 PM
Well the people that worked at johnnies have something in common with the blogger . They are all unemployed ... Good Luck to the Johnnies workers
Grandma Hannah November 19, 2012 at 05:25 PM
Actually MA has been operating under Obamacare type of health care reform without all the dire effects you are predicting.
saul glick November 19, 2012 at 05:34 PM
Hannah: I am not predicting, I am reading what companies are saying on the internet. The internet is full of stories from major employers, about their Obamacare options. The options are not favorable to the employees and their future. You have no idea what you voted for.
John November 19, 2012 at 05:56 PM
back that statement up and give us a link
saul glick November 19, 2012 at 05:58 PM
Good luck to the Johnnies crew. Join the unemploymment ranks with honor. Apply for E B T and food stamps also. You should be good for at last 59 weeks, no questions asked. Apply immediatly also. I say that with all sincerity.
saul glick November 19, 2012 at 06:10 PM
Here are 3 for starters. google keywords OBAMACARE FULL TIME WORKERS You have no idea what is in store for employment http://www.obamacarewatch.org/ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/13/john-metz-hurricane-grill-wings-dennys_n_2122412.html http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2012/11/05/obamacare-drops-full-time-employment/
Ben Hyde November 20, 2012 at 03:53 PM
As I assume that Thanksgiving and Christmas are quite profitable for grocery stores I was puzzled by the rush to close down. My insta-theory: Dejesus's tax advisors wanted an exit before expiration of the Bush tax cuts on high incomes.
Wind Dummy 25 November 20, 2012 at 08:33 PM
Puzzling? Not really...Wrong assumption Ben... You have to think as a business and then the mass of regs and the other land mines planted in the small business path, not as an individual filer...Which BTW also promises to suck whether they settle up or not down in Washingmachine DC. Now if you think that business owners appear heartless and cold, that's the figgin plan! Still puzzled? If you think that employees are getting the shaft, surprise also part of the plan... This is plane old, to some obvious to others puzzling, assualt on small business. And you haven't seen anything yet...Small to medium guys are selling or closing now to save what assets they have left. If only to pay lawyers, the State, feds, etc less in the longer run. If you think that a class war is on, step back and look at this for a longer second. It's really not. It's the LACK of class that's going on. Don't be puzzled... Never mind it's to late...Look around now while you can. You'll see less and less, paying more and more and owing more and more, with less choices. Congratulations you are now up to speed.
Wind Dummy 25 November 21, 2012 at 12:44 AM
Think Little Johnnies is ducking out early for obvious reasons?...See Walmart...Every Mbat is is on their shit for Thanksgiving black Friday opening a little early Why? Unions of course, and has nothing to do with shopping or traditions... So we looked into it, and found out this rush for Christmas, while annoying to the traditionalist in all of us, is nothing new. And the person to blame? Someone who actually moved Thanksgiving to get more people out shopping for Christmas? Franklin Delano Roosevelt. http://outfront.blogs.cnn.com/2012/11/08/wal-mart-pushes-black-friday-to-8pm-on-thanksgiving-is-nothing-sacred/
MB November 23, 2012 at 06:38 AM
Johnnie's was great, and I will miss it
Alt Drumz December 29, 2012 at 08:29 PM
I have friends who worked at whole foods in fresh pond, as all the 2 year hires were coming up on the point where they would be getting a raise and increased benefits - they were all LAID OFF. Whole Foods is no better than any of the other "discount" places - Home Depot, etc - who treat there staff terrible, suck money out of local economies and offer up "fake wholesome food" to less than knowledgeable customers. Sad the way Johnnies went down, but WF's is a worse option for the community.


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