Yoke’s Fresh Markets is expanding again.
Less than a year after buying Haggen in Liberty Lake, the employee-owned company announced Monday that it is buying Trading Company Stores, a local chain with four stores in Spokane Valley, Post Falls, Cheney and Latah Valley.
Trading Company was founded in 1994 by Paul Matejovski and Gary Morgan in Bonners Ferry. They later sold the Bonners Ferry location to Safeway. All but the Cheney store were former Tidyman’s groceries, bought when that local chain folded in 2006.
Matejovsky said Yoke’s Foods Inc. approached the Trading Company about a possible sale, and negotiations started a few months ago.
“Overall, it will be good for everybody,” Matejovsky said. “ Gary and I are both well into our 60s.”
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. It’s expected to close in September.
Yoke’s is holding two hiring fairs this summer to allow Trading Company employees to apply for jobs with the Yoke’s chain. The first career fair will be held Wednesday at Yoke’s Liberty Lake location.
Matejovsky said the company’s nearly 260 employees are being encouraged to apply with Yoke’s.
After buying the Trading Company stores, Yoke’s will have 17 locations in North Idaho, Eastern Washington and Central Washington.
The first Yoke’s store was opened in 1946 by Marshall Yoke in Deer Park. His son, Chuck Yoke, expanded the business and sold it to employees through an employee stock ownership plan in 1990. The chain’s stores include locations in the Tri-Cities, Sandpoint, Kellogg and Mead.
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