New Leaf will continue to operate its Bay Area markets, including its main offices in Santa Cruz, as a wholly owned subsidiary of New Seasons. Its current management team will continue to run the New Leaf stores with New Leaf's founders gaining an ownership share in the Portland business.
Scott Roseman, founder and co-owner of New Leaf Community Markets, will join the New Seasons Market board of directors.
"Joining with New Seasons Market will advance both companies' missions and values, and creates smart scale on our own terms," said Roseman.
"When we determined it was the right time to consider options to support our healthy growth, we wanted to align with a company that was committed to our values, to local operations and decision making, our support for local communities and our passion for high quality food," Roseman added. "For all of these reasons, New Seasons Market is a great match, plus, they are the only grocer in the world other than New Leaf to become a certified B Corporation."
New Seasons Market is a recognized leader in the grocery industry and as B Corporations, New Seasons and New Leaf have been recognized as businesses that place as much value on taking care of their staff, the community and the environment as they do on growing and operating their business, Roseman said.
Roseman announced just Monday that B Lab, the international B Corporation certification body, has recognized New Leaf as a Certified B Corporation, too.
He added that like New Leaf, New Seasons Market is dedicated to providing great customer service and the highest quality food, and to giving 10% of profits to community nonprofits.
"Joining with this successful company that also has its roots in support of the regional food economy and strong community partnerships will help advance New Leaf's goal of growing sustainably," he said.
The combined company will be based in Portland, with New Seasons Market operating from Portland and New Leaf operating from Santa Cruz.
Together, New Seasons Market and New Leaf are committed to an operating model that ensures each store makes local operating decisions and serves as a resource and partner to the customers, community, vendors and staff they serve, the two companies said in a statement.
"The same people at New Seasons Market and at New Leaf will continue to make operating and purchasing decisions on a local level, our values will remain the same and our commitments will stay unchanged," said New Seasons Market president and CEO Wendy Collie.
Together, the companies will gain long-term benefits from collaboration and sharing best practices in a fast growing marketplace, she added. Over time, they will look for opportunities where their combined strength and scale can be leveraged, including providing farmers and local food producers new opportunities to grow their businesses, and giving staff more opportunities for professional advancement.
New Seasons Market co-founder and board member Stan Amy commented,
"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," said New Seasons Market co-founder and board member Stan Amy.
"New Leaf is a terrific match for our values and mission," Amy added. "I have known of Scott Roseman's work for nearly 20 years, and have respected the company he's built and their commitment to using the power of business to benefit his community and the local food economy."
New Leaf Community Markets is a natural foods grocery store that's been in business for 28 years and now operates eight stores, including its newest branch in Pleasanton. Other locations are in Santa Cruz County, Half Moon Bay and San Jose.
Founded in 2000, New Seasons Market is a leader in the grocery industry and the first grocer in the world to become a certified B Corporation. Last year, the company donated to over 900 local nonprofits and community organizations.
With nearly 2,700 employees, the independently-owned grocery operates 13 stores in the Portland-Vancouver area, and is one of the Portland area's largest private employers. Three additional stores are scheduled to open in 2014 and 2015.
Information on these two companies can be found at www.newleaf.com and at www.newseasonsmarket.com/