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New Seasons Buys New Leaf Chain

PORTLAND, Ore. — New Seasons Market here said Tuesday that it is acquiring New Leaf Community Markets, an eight-store natural-and-organic retailer based in Santa Cruz, Calif. Terms were not disclosed.

Like New Seasons, New Leaf is a certified B-Corporation, a recognition of its environmental and social responsibility. Both chains also donate 10% of their after-tax profits to nonprofits in the communities and neighborhoods they serve.

“Joining with New Leaf will advance both companies’ missions and values, and creates smart scale on our own terms,” said New Seasons Market President and Chief Executive Officer Wendy Collie. “We see combining with this like-minded, B-Corp certified grocer as a way to grow thoughtfully and sustainably.”


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Founded in 1985, New Leaf has stores in the California towns of Santa Cruz, San Jose, Half Moon Bay, Pleasanton and Capitola. New Seasons operates 13 stores in the Portland-Vancouver area. Three additional stores are scheduled to open between fall 2014 and spring 2015.

The combined company will be based in Portland, Ore., and Collie will lead both companies. New Seasons Market will operate from Portland and New Leaf will operate from Santa Cruz with the founders and management team of New Leaf continuing to run their stores. New Leaf Founder Scott Roseman will join New Seasons Market’s board of directors.

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New Leaf stores tend to be smaller than New Seasons, and also focus exclusively on natural and organic product, vs. the natural, organic and conventional mix at New Seasons, a spokeswoman for New Seasons told SN. New Leaf locations measure between 5,000 and 24,000 square feet, while New Seasons stores are in the 15,000- to 40,000-square-foot range.

Both have United Natural Foods Inc., Providence, R.I., as their primary supplier.

"We saw a great match in New Leaf’s mission, 'To Nourish and Sustain Community,' and a kindred culture in their people and practices," Amy Brown, the New Seasons spokeswoman, told SN.

She said the two companies would continue to operate under their current banners but could look at adopting one single brand eventually.

“We are very excited to join with New Seasons Market,” said Roseman, the New Leaf founder, in a statement. “When we determined it was the right time to consider options to support healthy growth, we wanted to align with a company with a similar culture and values, and an authentic dedication to supporting local communities, local farmers and staff. New Seasons Market is that company.”

New Seasons Market Co-founder and Board Chair Stan Amy added, “From the founding of New Seasons Market, we have had the goal of stable and sustainable growth that advances our values and benefits the community and the regional food economy while ensuring local focus and independence for the long haul. New Leaf is a terrific match for our values and mission.”

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