MISSOULA — Missoula’s grocery industry will welcome a new option in the coming weeks as Yoke’s Fresh Markets completes its purchase of Missoula Fresh Market.
Missoula Fresh Market dates back to 2015 when two local buyers purchased the old Safeway locations on South Reserve and West Broadway. Yoke’s will occupy both Fresh Market locations in Missoula, Yoke’s said in a Monday statement.
Yokes dates back to 1946 and has been expanded in recent years across the greater Spokane area. The founder sold the stores to his employees in 1990, making it employee owned. It currently operates across Spokane, the Tri-Cities and portions of Idaho.
The company is currently headed by John Bole and provides an array of products, including seafood, an in-house bakery and organic products. It also offers ready-to-go foods, fresh trays and on-line recipes.
“Our mission is to expand our services to this new market,” said Bole in a statement. “Yoke’s is excited to expand our family.”
The grocery industry in Missoula has remained under a constant state of change over the past decade. Safeway and Albertsons merged in 2015. Shortly after, Ron Ramsbacher and Craig Holtet purchased Missoula’s two Safeway locations and began the Fresh Market franchise.
Three years later, Lucky’s Market, also based in Spokane, opened a popular Missoula location in Southgate Mall. It closed less than two years later after Kroger divested its stake in the chain.
The latest grocery offering opened last February when WinCo Foods opened a location at the former Shopko building on South Reserve.
The city’s four Albertsons locations remain in operation.
Editor's note: A previous version of this article state there were two Albertsons grocery stores in Missoula. That was incorrect.