Whole Foods Interested in Arlington Johnnie's Foodmaster

Whole Foods is in talks to acquire six of the 10 Johnnie's Foodmaster sites, including the one in Arlington, Boston.com reports. What do you think? Let us know by posting a comment below.

Whole Foods is looking to buy or lease the on Massachusetts Avenue in Arlington, according to a report on Boston.com.

The Texas-based upscale supermarket chain is in talks to acquire six of the 10 Johnnie’s Foodmaster locations -- Arlington, Brookline, Charlestown, Melrose, South Weymouth and on Beacon Street in Somerville – the news site reports.

It’s not yet known whether the sites would be run as Johnnie’s or Whole Foods if the deal goes through, according to the report.


Do you want Whole Foods to move in? Or are you a Johnnie’s loyalist? Let us know by posting a comment below.


Currently, the two closest Whole Foods to Arlington are at and 200 Alewife Brook Parkway in Fresh Pond, Cambridge. While if the plan goes through and the Arlington Johnnie’s becomes a Whole Foods, the would be in West Somerville, just over the Arlington town line at 105 Alewife Brook Parkway.

People tend to have strong opinions about both Whole Foods and Johnnie’s, the family-owned grocery store that John DeJesus Sr. started in East Cambridge in 1947. In June, Johnnie’s president, John A. DeJesus, for withdrawing his liquor-store license in order to support another small-business owner’s new venture.

Read the Boston.com story here.

Wind Dummy 25 September 07, 2012 at 12:11 AM
What are you kidding? Do you people think whole Foods has a magical super farm in Organicland USA that is exclusive to WF club members? Pristine produce, immaculate meats etc suddenly appear on there shelves just for you...Truth be told WF imports with ordinary trucks, on air cargo spreading jet exhaust all over the place, unrefrigerated train cars that spoil, but pass Gov min regs. Sit in insect and rodent prone warehouses. They bid and buy just like everyone else on this planet. Including S&S and Johnnies.Man you guys are stubborn with this WF is so much better than Johnnies thing. I have a major problem with attempts to import non-organic food as organic. http://www.realfooduniversity.com/where-does-our-food-come-from/ Like I said before just don't peak behind the curtains. Or if you just don't want to know don't hit these links http://www.truthistreason.net/whole-foods-admits-its-organic-foods-contain-gmos-tries-to-play-victim-haydens-note http://www.fas.usda.gov/itp/Policy/tradeFAQ.asp
Walt Smith September 07, 2012 at 05:04 PM
Well... I sure stirred it up, didn't I? It's good to see that not everyone in Arlington has been seduced by the marketing imagery of Whole Foods. My wife is a home care worker who regularly takes Arlington seniors to grocery shop. Guess where almost all of them go? Johnnie's or the Market Basket in Burlington! That's what they can afford on fixed incomes. Do we really need a WF in Arlington, so the Moonbats who drank the WF Kool Aid won't have to drive a few minutes out of town? Absolutely NOT!!!! If it's excellent produce, fresh fish, and quality meat you want, at a very reasonable price, go to H Mart in Burlington, behind the Market Basket mall. Their selection is amazing. The parking lot is often full for a reason!
Shaun September 07, 2012 at 05:38 PM
Ahhhh Arlington home of wingnuts and moonbats, what a demographic.
inthegloaming September 07, 2012 at 06:46 PM
First: the moment one uses personal attacks ( that's called ad hominem) about the people -- "moon bats," "wing nuts" etc -- I think "closed mind/open mouth" and stop paying attention to the blah blah blah talking point rhetoric that has nothing to do with any facts and all to do with personal prejudices and "my class of people is the true/right class of people, Real Arlingtonians! The Chosen Ones!" silliness. I have a label for that, too: "Ignorant." See what I did there? What you did. Makes you want to ignore my opinion, doesn't it? You're welcome. AND, I find it amusing that everyone who is complaining that the Market Basket in Burlington is too far* so there will be no cheap sources in town, are the ones suggesting WFM that are just as far away really aren't, so moonbats and wingnuts should go there. *(Except for Walt, who is against WFM, but praises MB at Burlington as not too far. I've heard the same about that location, but it is out of my way. So are the other WFM locations. We monbats like convenience and choice as mush as you Chosen Ones. :-) )
inthegloaming September 07, 2012 at 06:50 PM
And the food at Johnnies and Stop Shop doesn't sit in the same warehouses, imported by jet-exhaust, etc., etc., etc., ALSO? Of course they do. Btw, have you ever smelled the "fresh" asparagus at Stop Shop? Is there a reason it always smells like dirty toe jam?
Elaine G September 07, 2012 at 06:52 PM
I don't happen to agree that having a WF in Arlington is a win for all its residents if it will gentrify the town even more. Arlington home prices are escalating to a point that it soon not be able to attract younger families with children. Who will fill the schools they've built? I happen to like Arlington the way it is. I don't want to see Arlington become another Lexington, Belmont or Winchester. And I think Wind Dummy hit it on the head as to the issues of where WF gets their food. After a recent trip to a WF, I found more than half their produce is conventionally grown. We can buy that anywhere. I found their organic produce lacking. They also claim to have a lot of locally grown produce but there has been questions as to how true that is. You can go to Wilson Farms if you want locally grown conventional produce. WF is great for specialty items, but not for general food shopping. That being said, your last sentence is what prompted me to respond. A lot of residents own/rent condo/apartments in brick building or multifamilies where they have no access to yards. How could they possibly have a vegetable garden. My attempt at growing large-pot grape tomatoes on my balcony was a disaster. Growing the vegetables on your patio/balcony is not the way to feed a family.
inthegloaming September 07, 2012 at 07:03 PM
I don't pay attention to marketing imagery. I look at the individual items I need to buy, make comparisons. I go to WFM for things I want that I can't get at locals -- i.e., you can grind your own nut butters with NO added salt, sugars, or preservatives. Locals are fine for most common veggies. WFM has better tomatoes -- so does Wilson's -- and my family practically lives on tomato/basil (from our garden) mozzarella salad in summer. (yes, we have grown our own tomatoes. Sometimes that doesn't work out to be enough.) More to the point, the only convenience cooked food we get fro Stop Shop is the rotisserie chicken. Now, that is a bargain. The rest of the fresh prepared foods in the meat, etc., area is drowned in mayo. WFM has well maintained make-your-own salad and hot foods bars, AND places to sit and eat them. (Not everyone who lives in Arlington has a family to go home to.) WFM does offer more choice than the ones we currently have. People are willing to pay for that. No reason they can't pay for the extra convenience of location, too. There will still be Stop Shop. Trader Joe. And the senior center can organize a bi-weekly fun trip to Burlington's Market Basket. I'll drive once a month. Have to get a bus license. :-)
inthegloaming September 07, 2012 at 07:24 PM
Elaine G: I also like Arlington the way it is. Or rather WAS when I moved here from Cambridge (before that Boston, before that Manhattan) 25 years ago. Quiet. Mostly retired folks. Now the diesel trucks lumber past my house on the way to/ from route 2: the neighborhood kids scream -- not just play: yell, fight, whine, screech -- under my windows. No more sitting on the porch with a good book and a relaxing iced tea for me. They OWN the street by sheer numbers. And inconsiderate parents too lazy to take their kids to the TWO nearby parks. But it's only a matter of time before it becomes subsumed into Lexbridge/Camton. such is "progress." there's no place else to go. We've paved paradise, put up a parking lot.
Let them eat cake! September 07, 2012 at 08:21 PM
inthegloaming...maybe you need to move! Kids screaming not playing, want them to go somewhere else to play? Their parents paid good money for their homes to be able to have their kids play nearby - and most likely been a resident for as long as you. Go read a book in the park if it's quiet you want. On the WFM front - let the Johnnie's family do what's best for them...they deserve it.
inthegloaming September 07, 2012 at 09:43 PM
Yes, I want them to "play" in their own, expensive back yards. At lesst the houses might muffle some noise and they wouldn't be right under my windows. (Or those of the neighbor who has migraines. Or the nurse who works nights and has to try to sleep days.) Yes, I want them to go "scream" while playing soccer or bike riding to the very nice parks we have within walking distance. That's the place for kids to go work off all that energy. Yes, I want their parents to teach them that they don't own the block, only their own property was bought: that it's uncouth and low-class to disturb others willfully. I'm old. I should be able to sit on my own porch, that I also paid good money for -- their mortgage money doesn't count more than mine, and I know what they paid for them -- AND hundreds of thousands over 25 years to upgrade, plant trees, etc. AND yes, I was here easily 10 years before this lot moved in. But it's not about who can buy the neighborhood with money, or who has squatter's rights. (You ready to return Menotomy to the Native Americans we overran?). It's about the legal right to "the peaceful enjoyment" of one's home; common ( not anymore) courtesy, kind consideration. Which judging from too many commenters here is in short supply in Arlington. Maybe WFM has a magic organic garden to grow some in that we can stock up on.
Cube September 07, 2012 at 10:56 PM
Change can be a good thing but don't forget to appreciate what is lost. I remember when the good weather arrived everyone opened their windows to enjoy fresh air. But now needs to keep their windows shut because of their neighbors monster central air conditioners. But because of the roar of leaf blowers everyone has to keep their windows shut anyways. I Remember when you could ride up from the center to Lexington in 5 minutes before the traffic improvement bump outs in front of Dagastinos. (more such traffic improvements are coming soon to East Arlington). Next on the list maybe the loss of Johnnie's where the middle class could shop and still have something left in their wallets when they left. Progress is a double edged sword.
Wind Dummy 25 September 07, 2012 at 10:56 PM
The reason I put out that WF is fooling some folks who shop there exclusively is a Paul Revere notice. They are claiming a spot in the massive food market as a alternative organic food store. They are going for it, good for them they are great at some stuff no doubt. The prices are prohibitive for most other stuff they brand name. They put up a front that they can save you from evil non organic competition in the world of cut throat food biz they are just exploiting the word organic. I remember biking down to Haymarket from the "Ville" as a kid with a shopping list from my mother and which cart was the best. We need cars now a days, but the premise is the same. Love the farmers Markets & Busas price + quality. But they'll be gone soon. Shop as local as possible for fresh and for won't poison you. A have a garden myself. Tomato and basil forever. I get my meat and a bunch of stuff at Cosco Waltham. Great quality and prices definitely try them. If your snobed out by them you'll surprised and save some serious cake. Wilson's has some great local grown, but there crooks also careful. I'm at the tax free Air Force base in Lexington for everything else, but selection is not that great you need some paper work for that privilege. And I love coupons! Can't wait for soup weather... Don't eat vegies that smell like feet, solid tip! Kids with ovahh rated helicopter parents, in Arlington? There's a surprise.
Wind Dummy 25 September 07, 2012 at 11:10 PM
Cube they have an express lane to Lexington...Bike path, be there in 4 mins
Calluna Vulgaris September 10, 2012 at 02:54 PM
Critical thinking here please! If all you critics of Whole Foods did most of your shopping at Johnny's - the family who owns it(nice people) would not have to go out of business! Blame yourselves - not healthy food and if one knows how to shop- bulk food bins and 365 brand- check it out- all good value. Evidently small grocery stores are hard to sell when they close and Whole Foods is known to pay good prices(again helps the Johnny owners) and hire the employees - let's hope they hire the good ones which most are- a very friendly store. It seems they cannot be your friendly neighbor convenience store and profit. Stop the divisive comments and THINK!
Ron September 10, 2012 at 03:52 PM
I have no problem with Whole Foods as a grocery store, I just think that with the other locations that are close I don't think Arlington needs to have one. Cambridge, Medford and Woburn all have them and they are not that far away. My point is that the town could be better off finding something that the citizens of the town could really use. I don't have the answer but I don't think it is a pizza store, convenient store, nail salon, or grocery store. But lets face it, if Johnnies wants to sell their private business to Whole Foods there isn't much the citizens can do about it. Unless there is a "Committee" that is created that builds a case to approve Whole Foods and ban anything else from the location, Whole Foods will come to Arlington and be supported the same way that Johnnies was. By those who find its valuable, those who don't will find another place to to get their groceries. In response to some of the other comments about, I for one don't shop between 5-7 during the week because everyone else does, far to much traffic in the stores, parking lots, and streets no matter where you shop. Correct, Arlington is not Belmont, Lexington or Winchester and will never be but Arlington is not Cambridge either. We can't be everything to everyone. Where not a city, just a confused little town that can't really find it's way.
inthegloaming September 10, 2012 at 04:05 PM
Fresh corn at Alewife Whole Foods yesterday: 2 for $1. Fresh corn at Stop Shop yesterday: .50 each. I think we'd all have to make a list of foods we routinely eat, then go comparison shop to decide what price was worth it for what items. Worth it to me to pay more for better quality fresh produce. It COSTS the supplier more to supply that. YMMV. I don't think we're arguing so much about which is better: we seem to be demanding convenient choice. Well, at least in that we all want the same thing. :-)
Janette September 13, 2012 at 11:41 PM
That parking lot is perfect for Johnnie's! However with Whole Foods? That parking lot is tiny & will be a nightmare! Besides ill support small local businesses like Wilson Farms before Whole Foods any day!
Alt Drumz September 15, 2012 at 06:07 PM
NO WHOLE FOODS. ANY business that is not LOCAL -SUCKS MONEY FROM THE LOCAL ECONOMY. It's that simple. Buy your veggies at the Arlington Farmers Market and meet the farmers and give them your money. Whole Foods is pulling the wool over your eyes. Wonder is all the young and old people that Johnnies employs will be there after Whole Fools take over.
Patricia September 18, 2012 at 02:00 PM
We already have Trader Joe's. We don't need Whole Foods. Johnnie's has everything at reasonable prices. There is a Whole Foods at Fresh Pond for those who want to pay very high prices. The only good thing about them is there free samples.
Alt Drumz October 18, 2012 at 11:11 PM
Alt Drumz October 18, 2012 at 11:12 PM
Read this article I just posted about what Whole Foods really is as a company. All the good employees at Johnny's will be let go - and when employees get to a 2 year mark - they let them go to keep costs down. A friend who lives here in Arlington just went thru it. DONT SHOP WHOLE FOODS!
Wind Dummy 25 October 19, 2012 at 04:41 AM
With this new tax cow in town, maybe they lowered taxes a little bit
Mike November 02, 2012 at 01:54 AM
That is so sarcastic! Pretty funny too ... and I'm even a WF shopper!
Elaine G November 02, 2012 at 02:02 AM
I drove by Foodmaster tonight and saw signs in the window that they are having a big store closing sale. Not sure how long it will last. They have some items I can't get anywhere else. Guess I should make a trip over there.
Mike November 02, 2012 at 02:10 AM
Don't mention samples. Once the anti-WF'ers find out they can nibble on cheese and scarf down an occasional cookie for free at WF, the stores will be even more crowded for us serious shoppers.
Cube November 02, 2012 at 03:03 AM
All ready Foodmaster is getting thinned out. I feel like I am walking into a wake when I walk in there.
Wind Dummy 25 November 02, 2012 at 04:34 PM
Apparently fears are confirmed, more convoluted choices, higher prices, more traffic, and a loss of everyday conveniences... Well nothing is forever. This to shall pass.
Cube November 02, 2012 at 07:54 PM
about the Foodmaster shut down... The good: Whole foods is a high quality store. The bad: *Whole foods price's are insane. (thats why I never go there) *All of the Foodmaster employee's are being thrown underneath the bus. Give me a break with "they get a chance to interview" excuse. *The parking lot all though adequate for Foodmaster will be overwhelmed. *Foodmaster gave the public another choice which we are losing. *A very antiunion establishment, not that I know first hand but this is what I've read. (However if you are a union hater you won't see this as a bad) In short the Foodmaster will be missed.
D. Macaris November 09, 2012 at 02:58 AM
Good luck with those healthy "organics" people.....and that wonderfully inexpensive 365 brand !! HA!!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=JQ31Ljd9T_Y
Wind Dummy 25 November 09, 2012 at 05:08 AM
I mentioned that D. but apparently there IS one born every minute, or 30 seconds around here...Whole Frauds sells an image just like everyone else in high competitive markets. Big food is no different than big anything else.Thanks for the link...


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