JOHNNIE’S FOODMASTER MAY HAVE BEEN the soul of my neighborhood, but it was a soul the neighborhood didn’t quite know it had.
Last November, when I heard it was closing, bought out by Whole Foods, I worried only about the loss of convenience. But soon I began feeling the impending loss in more emotional ways. I’d shopped at the Beacon Street Johnnie’s in Somerville near daily for 13 years; in fact, my casual knowledge of the store went back 39 years, my entire adult life. A sense of loss, even abandonment, washed over me the next time I shopped.