Bales Supermarket Owner Buys Lamb’s Markets

Bales Supermarket Owner Buys Lamb’s Markets

Signature Northwest purchased Lamb’s markets, including the store in Garden Home seen here. The company also owns Bales supermarkets, including one in Cedar Mill and in Aloha.

By Wendy Owen | The Oregonian/OregonLive on June 25, 2015 at 1:58 PM, updated June 25, 2015 at 2:00 PM

The company that owns two Bales Marketplace grocery stores near Beaverton has purchased four Lamb’s markets, including the store in Garden Home.

Regular customers will notice less “clutter” in the aisles and more room to maneuver carts, but no drastic changes, said Dave Rumley, president of Signature Northwest, which owns Bales and, now, Lamb’s.

Rumley spent time on Thursday touring the Lamb’s stores with Signature Northwest CEO Mark Miller, including the one in Garden Home, which he said is an older store due for a remodel within the next 12 months.

“Just freshen it up,” he said.

Signature Northwest, a Portland company, purchased all the Lamb’s markets on June 15 but Rumley would not disclose the financial arrangement. The company now owns Lamb’s Natural Choice Markets in Lake Oswego and Wilsonville as well as Lamb’s Thriftway in Garden Home, near Beaverton, and Lamb’s Stroheckers in southwest Portland.

“They have a lot of history in Portland and Oregon,” Rumley said of Lamb’s. “We just have to fine-tune them, and we think we can serve the neighborhoods we’re in better and give customers a nice market to support.”

Combined, the supermarkets will have more than 400 employees, including at least four new hires from the recently shuttered Hanks Thriftway in Hillsboro.

“We hired three bakery associates, a service deli associate and we’re working on a couple more,” he said.

There are no plans to layoff Lamb’s workers, he said, adding that they may end up increasing staff.

There are also no plans to change the name from the well-known Lamb’s markets, which the company bought from Bob Lamb who retired, Rumley said. Both Bales and Lamb’s have been around for decades. Signature Northwest bought the Beaverton Bales stores from the Bales family about 10 years ago. The two stores are in Cedar Mill and Aloha.

Mike Babbit, Lamb’s Thriftway manager in Garden Home, said combining the two supermarkets will be a good mix.

“We definitely are combining our synergies,” he said. “Now it’s one big company and I’m happy for us. I think it’s a good direction to go.”

Rumley said all of the stores will be cleaned up and the shelves filled back up, including some new items.

“We’re going to take the best from both companies,” he said.

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