Newport Market Extends Its Reach With Purchase of Terrebonne Thriftway

Posted on in category Positive News

Some local positive news From the Bend Bulletin By Suzanne Roig

Terrebonne Thriftway was renamed Oliver Lemon’s on Thursday following the sale of the locally owned grocery store.

Purchased by Newport Avenue Market’s parent company, Rudy’s Market Inc., this is the second grocery store the Bend-based business has acquired in recent years. In 2017, the employee-owned company purchased Melvin’s Fir Street Market in Sisters. And on Thursday, the company announced it bought the Terrebonne store from Bonnie Villastrigo after 19 years of ownership. See the ARTICLE HERE.

The new name is part of a brand being launched by Rudy’s Market Inc. Both will operate under the Oliver Lemon’s brightly hued signage, while the Newport Avenue Market in Bend will retain its name, said Lauren Johnson, Newport Market CEO.

“We believe Oliver Lemon’s will be their own distinct brand, different than Newport,” Johnson said. “The opportunity presented itself, and we wanted to be in Terrebonne. We thought it was a fun name and reflects who our employee owners are and that we live in a great place with colorful characters here.”

During the transition in Terrebonne, customers will still get to see Villastrigo, 63, running a checkout line, a job that she loves doing, she said.

“It’s a good thing,” Villastrigo said. “It’s a good company that is community -orientated like I was. I enjoyed every minute of owning the grocery store. I don’t know what the future holds.”

The 20 employees at the Terrebonne market will all be kept on and become employee owners and receive benefits that Villastrigo wasn’t able to provide, Johnson said.

Neither Newport Market’s parent company, Rudy’s Markets Inc., nor Villastrigo would discuss the price or terms of the sale. The sale does not include the Thriftway building, which is owned by another entity.

Rudy Dory founded Newport Avenue Market, but the company has been employee-owned since 2015 when the family owners created an employee stock ownership plan, or ESOP. There are now more than 100 employees at the Bend store.

“There’s so many friendly people here in Terrebonne. We’ve been embraced by the community,” Johnson said.

There will be some changes, but none affecting the fried chicken, a favorite of many customers, Johnson said. New selections of specialty cheeses, seafood, prepared foods and baked goods will be added, she said.

“We have the resources at the Bend and Sister’s stores to support us. We use a refrigerated truck to take products to the different locations,” Johnson said. “There is a loyal following here of the meat department at the Terrebonne store. The store is a big part of the Terrebonne community, and we’ll continue those traditions.”

A regular shopper at the Terrebonne Thriftway, Debbie Miller, owner of the Crescent Moon Ranch, is excited about the expansion of offerings that the new ownership will bring to her local grocery store.

“There will be more gourmet and healthy food versatility,” Miller said. “It’s a new twist and will be a bit more upscale. I love my Terrebonne Thriftway, but it will be nice to have options.”