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Whole Foods signs lease for Buffalo store

A popular grocery store that focuses on organic and natural foods says it plans to open a Buffalo-area location in the coming years. Whole Foods Market announced Wednesday it is opening stores in nine new locations, including Buffalo. The site has not been disclosed. 

But Business First reporter Jim Fink is citing real estate sources who say Whole Foods is negotiating with the owners of the Northtown Plaza on Sheridan Drive in Amherst. 

The Austin, Texas-based company currently operates 379 stores. Another 114 are in development. The nearest stores to Buffalo currently are in the Toronto area. 

"We've long heard from residents of Buffalo and the surrounding communities of the desire to have a Whole Foods Market in Western New York. We're really excited to finally be able to announce that we're bringing one there," said Northeast spokesman Michael Sinatra.

Sinatra says the store will open sometime in 2016 or 2017. He says it typically takes at least two years to complete a new location.

Whole Foods operates 14 downstate stores in New York State. A 16th, in Albany, will open next month.

One of Whole Foods' biggest competitors, Trader Joe's, opened a store in Amherst last year.

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