LaBonne’s Markets buys Oliver’s Supermarket

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PROSPECT — Oliver’s Supermarket has been sold to LaBonne’s Markets.

Bob LaBonne Jr., LaBonne’s owner, said the deal closed Friday morning. He said Oliver’s previous owners, Len Noble, 81, and Ken Gnazzo, 80, needed to take a step back from owning the supermarket. Noble is staying on during the transition.

LaBonne said the two previous owners sold the store several months ago to Cheshire-based wholesaler Bozzuto’s Inc., which bought the store and the real estate. Three months ago, Bozzuto’s approached LaBonne about buying the business.

LaBonne declined to say how much he bought the store for but said doing so when the opportunity arose was a “no-brainer.”

“Having relatives in Prospect that knew and loved Oliver’s, we said absolutely,” he said. “It’s a perfect fit, they have a lot of long-term employees like we do.”

LaBonne said customers won’t notice a change until after the holiday season.

“Being that it’s the holidays, we don’t plan on changing anything right now,” he said. “They have such a great team in place and the store is very well run.”

When changes do occur, LaBonne said they’ll be for the better. LaBonne said he wants to expand organic produce, catering and deli offerings. LaBonne’s also has 400 private label products that Oliver’s previously didn’t carry.

Employees will see their employee discounts increase from 10% to 20% and will be eligible for LaBonne’s 401(k) company match, a perk Oliver’s didn’t offer, LaBonne said. Store hours might eventually be extended. No layoffs or cuts in vacation time will occur as a result of the transaction, he said.

LaBonne’s has existing locations in Woodbury, Salisbury and Watertown. The acquisition brings the company to four stores and over 400 employees.

“The last two days have been magical,” LaBonne said.