Blount Organics

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Central Grocers Files Chapter 11

Central Grocers, Joliet, Ill., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy today and will lay off about 550 employees at its Joliet warehouse.

The 100-year-old grocery cooperative has been a wholesaler for more than 400 independent grocery stores in the Chicago area — including chains like Treasure Island, Pete’s Fresh Market, Angelo Caputo’s Fresh Market and Sunset Foods — distributing private-label Centrella products as well as produce, meat and dairy. It is also the parent company of Strack & Van Til and Ultra Foods stores in Illinois and Indiana, both included in the bankruptcy filing. The Chicago Tribune said the layoffs are expected between June 26 and July 10 as the business gradually shuts down, according to a mass layoff notice sent to employees Wednesday.

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