Press Release

Country Grocer Acquires 49th Parallel Grocery Group of Companies

Grocer and 49th logos

Vancouver Island, British Columbia, February 14th, 2023

49th Parallel Grocery Group of Companies (“49th Parallel”) and Island Independent Buying Group Ltd. d.b.a Country Grocer (“Country Grocer”) are pleased to announce that, as of Monday February 20th, 2023, Country Grocer will be acquiring the four 49th Parallel Grocery locations in Ladysmith, Chemainus, Cedar and Duncan, British Columbia.

The ownership transition is part of the succession plan for 49th Parallel’s shareholders, the Richmond family. The transaction represents the unification of two community-focused grocery retailers, which combined will operate 11 locations across Vancouver Island under Country Grocer ownership.

“The Richmond family would like to extend our sincerest thanks to our loyal communities where we operate, and to the entire 49th Parallel Grocery team for their enduring commitment to quality and service over the past [46] years,” said Peter Richmond, President & CFO of 49th Parallel Grocery. “We are delighted to see the business become part of a bigger, multi-generational, family operated grocery business with similar family and community values as 49th Parallel Grocery. Country Grocer is the ideal ownership group to keep the independent voice alive and well here on Vancouver Island.”

“Country Grocer is extremely excited about this acquisition, and we look forward to working with everyone on the 49th Parallel team,” stated Wally Large, co-founder of Country Grocer. “Our ownership team has an incredible amount of respect for the Richmond family and the amazing job they have done serving the communities that they operate in. Much like the Richmond family, Country Grocer’s operations began as humble beginnings in 1984 here on Vancouver Island, and today is operated by a multi-generational ownership team who will be dedicated to continuing the legacy of quality service to these communities for years to come.”

CIBC Mid-Market Investment Banking is serving as exclusive financial advisor to Country Grocer. Grant Thornton Corporate Finance Inc. is serving as exclusive financial advisor to 49th Parallel.

About 49th Parallel Grocery Group of Companies

Founded in 1977, 49th Parallel is a family run business operating four grocery stores across Vancouver Island. Today, the four locations collectively comprise over 80,000 sq. ft. of grocery retail and employ over 380 team members, providing locally sourced and big-name grocery products to their communities.

About Island Independent Buying Group/Country Grocer Group

With roots dating back to 1984, Island Independent Buying Group Ltd. is a locally owned and operated family business operating seven grocery stores under the Country Grocer brand serving Greater Victoria, Salt Spring, Cobble Hill, Lake Cowichan and Nanaimo. The business continues to grow and thrive by staying true to its core principles: providing customers with quality products, competitive pricing, exceptional service and an unwavering commitment to the communities it serves.

For media inquiries please contact:

  • Cobble Hill to North Vancouver Island – Tyler Large, Country Grocer Operations Director– 250-714-6450
  • Victoria and South Vancouver Island – Craig Cavin, Country Grocer Operations Director – 250-580-2661
  • General Inquires – Tammy Averill, Country Grocer Marketing Manager – 250-708-3902/250-886-8819
  • 49th Parallel – Peter Richmond, President & CFO, 49th Parallel Grocery – 250-741-4373
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