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The Boston Globe

Magazine

Connections

Missing Johnnie’s Foodmaster

I shopped at the Somerville store daily and was surprised to realize how much I’d miss the place and its staff.

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.

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