January 24. 2014 10:45PM

Bi-Wise Market acquired by Associated Grocers

Union Leader staff

ALLENSTOWN — The owners of Bi-Wise Market in Allenstown have agreed to sell their business to Associated Grocers of New England.

Bi-Wise, founded in 1966 by “Mighty” Mike Genest, has been run by the Genest family ever since, noted Mike Bourgoine, president and CEO of Associated Grocers of New England. It is located near the intersections for Routes 3 and 28 in Allenstown.

“Since that time, Bi-Wise has operated as an independent, community based business,” Bourgoine said in a news release. “They have made Bi-Wise the business cornerstone of the Allenstown and Pembroke communities and fully support local civic and charitable activities.” Bi-Wise has been a member store of AG New England for more than 35 years, so it’s a logical transition to sell to an organization that supports independent retail grocers, Mark Genest said.“This is the best thing that could have happened to the grocery store, its employees and the community,” he said.

AG New England supplies more than 650 stores across New England and into the Upstate New York/Albany area from its distribution center in Pembroke. AG New England is owned entirely by Independent Retail Grocers as members of a cooperative, and is the largest retailer-owned, wholesale grocery distribution center in New England.

In December 2012, AG New England acquired another long-time local grocer, Sully’s Superette in Goffstown, which opened there in 1987.

Its original location, on South Main Street in Manchester, was established in 1937 and now the site of a CVS pharmacy.