Vincentian businessman Ken Boyea (R) has sold Aunt Jobe's supermarkets to a St. Lucian, according to reports. (Internet photo)

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – The two Aunt Jobe’s supermarkets here are now owned by the St. Lucian company that leased the building formerly housing Food City, a newspaper in Castries has reported.

The Voice newspaper says that Vincentian businessman Ken Boyea, former owner of Aunt Jobe’s, has inked an agreement with Consolidated Foods Ltd. (CFL).

The agreement, which was also signed by CFL’s chair Michael Chastanet, director Joanne Cooper and managing director Andre Chastanet, came into effect on Aug. 1.

Aunt Jobes will be rebranded Super J IGA, bringing to 11 the number of stores in the chain, including nine in St. Lucia.

The Voice quoted Boyea as being “pleased to see the coming together of two regional companies for the benefit of the people of the region”.

“He noted that the two stores would not be closing and all current operational staffing will be maintained,” the report further stated. CFL would make some changes, in keeping with the compliance requirements of a Super J outlet, including training staff according to company protocols.

“Super J IGA stores operate at international standards and we take our tagline ‘Better Everyday’ seriously and literally, so St. Vincent shoppers can expect a new shopping experience,” Andre Chastanet was quoted as saying.

The purchase of Aunt Jobe’s bring to three the number of companies in St. Vincent to be acquired by St. Lucian interest in the past year.

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Last year, Castries-based East Caribbean Financial Holding Company Limited purchased majority shares in the then state-owned National Commercial Bank — now Bank of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

In June, CFL leased from the state-owned National Properties Ltd., the premises of the former Food City supermarket in Kingstown.

The facilities are being renovated to house a Save-A-Lot supermarket, scheduled to open in October.

The report said the CFL’s investment in the Vincentian economy would generate employment in the construction and services industries.

“The purchasing power of CFL and its experience in the food industry will bring direct benefit to consumers,” the report said.

CFL is a private limited liability St. Lucian company involved in food retail and distribution. It was formed in

2004 through a merger of the country’s oldest supermarket chains.