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Local News

Ultra Foods closing in Joliet and elsewhere

JOLIET – The Ultra Foods store on Larkin Avenue is among nine stores in the regional chain that will close as its Joliet-based parent company plans to sell its remaining stores, the company announced Tuesday.

Ultra Foods is part of the Strack & Van Til supermarket chain owned by Central Grocers, a grocery cooperative headquartered in Joliet.

The Joliet store and eight others are scheduled to close by June 18.

Meanwhile, 22 other stores in Illinois and Indiana will continue to operate, Strack & Van Til stated in a news release.

Central Grocers is "working with legal and financial advisers toward implementing the sale of a majority of the Strack & Van Til stores as going concerns," the news release stated. "These 22 stores are expected to continue to operate and serve their communities on an ongoing basis."

Strack & Van Til began the process of closing the nine stores Tuesday.

An employee at the Joliet store said more than 100 people work there.

Other Ultra stores that will close are in Crestwood, Wheaton, Lansing, Chicago Heights, Calumet Park and Forest Park. Two Ultra stores in Indiana that will close are in Gary and Merrill Point.

Strack & Van Til is based in Highland, Indiana. The company operates stores under the names Strack & Van Til, Ultra Foods, and Town and Country Market.

The company formerly had a Strack & Van Til store on Route 59 in Joliet that now is the location of Tony's Finer Foods.

Central Grocers is a grocery cooperative owned by independent supermarket retailers supplied by the company. It supplies the Centrella brand groceries found in independent supermarkets as well as fresh produce and other products.

The company warehouse is located in Joliet along with the corporate headquarters at 2600 W. Haven Ave.

No one was available to comment late Friday afternoon at Central Grocers.

According to the company website, Central Grocers supplies about 400 independent supermarkets and is the seventh largest grocery cooperative in the United States.

The Ultra store will be the third Joliet supermarket to close this year.

Certified Warehouse Grocers last week closed its two Joliet stores. Certified was among the independent grocers served by Central Grocers.

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