Kroger is back in acquisition mode, announcing a bigger focus in deli with the purchase of Murray's Cheese’s equity and its New York City flagship location.
The details of the transaction were not disclosed in the announcement, however both sides expressed excitement for what could be on the horizon for the merger.
"For cheese lovers and connoisseurs, it doesn't get more authentic than Murray's," said Rodney McMullen, Kroger's Chairman and CEO, in a press release.
Murray's has been delivering a fine selection of cheese, meat, and specialty food items to New Yorkers since it opened in 1940, and to chefs and cheese fans nationwide through a robust online business.
"Our customers are excited to buy the unique offerings of Murray's Cheese right in our stores, and we're excited to ensure this iconic cheese shop will remain a part of the Kroger family for many years to come," McMullen continued.
This is the latest chapter in a partnership between the two companies that kicked off nearly a decade ago.
"When the Kroger and Murray's relationship started in 2008, we wanted to figure out how to bring the finest cheese and charcuterie to more people," said Daniel Hammer, Kroger's VP of Culinary Development and Deli/Bakery Merchandising. "Today, we have more than 350 Murray's Cheese shops in Kroger locations from coast to coast – and that is thanks to the incredible passion and commitment of the team at Murray's to empower associates to share their love of cheese with customers. We look forward to learning from the very talented team at Murray's and working together to grow the business and build the iconic Murray's brand."
According to the statement, Murray's Former Owner and President, Rob Kaufelt, will remain affiliated with the business as a strategic adviser, while Nick Tranchina will continue to lead its cheese team in New York, reporting Hammer at Kroger.
McMullen commetned that Kaufelt’s dedication has placed Murray's on the map among the culinary elite while also making specialty cheese more accessible to mainstream consumers.
"It has been my honor and privilege to work with so many tremendous, talented people over the course of my 45-year career in food retail, especially the last 25 years at Murray's here in New York City," said Kaufelt. "When I set out on this journey, my goal was simply to run the best cheese shop in Greenwich Village. I'm proud that we've been able to maintain the spirit and service of a mom-and-pop neighborhood shop amidst our growth into the national market. I am pleased to pass the torch to our able staff, who will carry Murray's into the future."
Murray’s will continue to be deeply involved with product selection, staff training and development, merchandising, and promotions. Keep checking in with Deli Market News as we continue to report on all developments in the buy-side and beyond.