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Roth’s Fresh Markets sold – Canadian company pledges no change in local operations

The Roth’s market in Silverton. The nine-store group, which also includes a Stayton store, is being sold to a Canadian company.

By James Day

Maybe it was the white shirts and green bow ties. Or the way Roth’s always seemed to be involved in community affairs and causes. Or the tradition of an employee, often a student or teenager, always ferrying your groceries to your car.

Or maybe you ran into Orville Roth himself in the produce section or bagging and he gave you one of his patented arm squeezes.

Roth’s always has been a bit different, which always has been a key part of its charm.

Now, for customers in the Silverton and Stayton areas, as well as the employees, the big questions are: will the charm survive? What will the stores look like and feel like in the future?

Roth’s officials and those of the new owner, the Pattison Food Group of Vancouver, British Columbia, noted in the Oct. 13 sales announcement that the plan is for business as usual.

“This is a very exciting time for our company and as I have built a relationship with this group over the past several months, I am confident the values and culture at the Pattison Food Group are well aligned to ours at Roth’s,” said Michael Roth in a press release addressed to company vendors. 

“I have visited many of their very successful Save-On-Foods stores, PFG’s largest banner, in British Columbia and I can assure you they are world class grocers. Their success has been built on their commitment to their employees, their customers, and their communities for more than 100 years.

“It’s going to be business as usual at each of our stores. Our current leadership and office team will remain in place to operate Roth’s Fresh Markets under our same name with our continued successful focus on ‘Fresh.’”

Roth, who has spent more than 41 years with the company, retired Oct. 26, with company general manager and long-time employee Tim Jennings taking over as president.

Roth is the son of Orville Roth, who founded the company in 1962 with Herman Jochimsen. Orville Roth, who became the sole owner in 1973, died in 2013 at the age of 79.

“We will continue to focus on customer service and having the best fresh offerings in every market we serve,” Jennings said in a second press release from Roth’s. “I’ve developed a strong relationship with the folks at the Pattison Food Group, and I am confident that our culture, values and priorities are well aligned.” 

Pattison Food group officials echoed the sentiments of the Roth’s executives.

“We are extremely excited to welcome Roth’s Fresh Markets to the family of companies at the Pattison Food Group,” said Darrell Jones, president of the Pattison Food Group. “Roth’s legacy of a customer-focused shopping experience with the best fresh offerings in the market is something all Pattison Food Group companies share, and we are just so thrilled to have these fine folks join our team.”  

Roth’s, which started with the Silverton store in 1962, operates nine stores in the mid-valley, including Stayton, McMinnville and Monmouth and five outlets in Salem.

No sales terms were revealed in the  announcement, with Michael Roth noting that the transaction is expected to close in the next few weeks after “certain regulatory approvals” are finalized.

Pattison Food Group companies, according to the Roth’s news releases, include Save-On-Foods, Western Canada’s largest grocery retailer; Buy-Low Foods; Quality Foods; Choices Markets; and more than a dozen other retail food, drug and specialty banners. With nearly 300 retail locations and a wholesale division, the Pattison Food Group employs more than 30,000 people. Pattison Food Group is owned by The Jim Pattison Group, which has been in business for over 60 years, employs more than 51,000 people worldwide across a portfolio of operating divisions spanning the automotive, advertising, media, agricultural equipment, food and beverage, entertainment, exporting, financial, real estate, and periodical distribution industries with annual sales of
$12.7 billion.

Michael Roth said that Roth’s reputation for “giving back to the community” will continue to be a priority.

“Like Roth’s,” he said, “every company in the Pattison Food Group shares a culture that values philanthropy and being an active member of every community served – which was something that was very important to me.”

In conjunction with his retirement announcement Roth said he will be dividing a $1 million donation among Silverton Area Community Aid,
The Oregon Garden and the Salem Foundation.

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