• Patti Raspolich

Joliet Ultra Foods Closing

Photo courtesy of the Joliet Herald-News.

Announced last Tuesday, April 18, Ultra Foods grocery store will be closing its location on Larkin Avenue in Joliet, along with eight other locations in the Chicagoland area. Central Grocers, the parent company of Ultra Foods and Strack & Van Til grocery stores, plans to close the stores by June 18. With the headquarters and warehouse located in Joliet since 2009, the grocery cooperative supplies roughly 400 independent supermarket stores in the area.

Photo courtesy of the Daily Herald.

Among these announcements from Central Grocer, the public has also learned that 22 Strack & Van Til stores will be sold. “Central Grocers, is working with advisors toward implementing a sale of the majority of Strack & Van Til stores,” Strack wrote. “While we don’t yet have a signed deal, the proposed transaction calls for 22 stores to be sold as going concerns.”

In addition to the store closing, the warehouse workers of Central Grocers will also be impacted by the potential sale of the parent company. After Central Grocers announced the closing of 9 grocery stores, the Teamster Local 703 Union filed a lawsuit to block the possible sales of the grocery cooperative. The Teamsters represent 300 employees at Central Grocer and are fighting to protect that their contract will not be affected by the selling of grocery stores. Not only are 9 stores closing, but 22 other locations are being sold.

Affected by the closings are locations in Joliet, Crestwood, Wheaton, Lansing, Chicago Heights, Calumet Park, and Forest Park, along with two Indiana stores. Roughly 100 employees at the grocery store in Joliet will be affected by the changes, as well as the warehouse workers of Central Grocers. According to reports from The Herald News, 29 warehouse workers have already been laid off as of April 21.

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