National Supermarket Association Chooses Providence for Headquarters of New England Chapter

Published on Monday, June 24, 2024

PROVIDENCE, RI – Lieutenant Governor Sabina Matos today announced that the National Supermarket Association (NSA), a trade association representing over 700 independently owned supermarkets, will open headquarters in downtown Providence for its newly established New England chapter.

“I am excited to announce that the National Supermarket Association has chosen Providence for their New England headquarters, better positioning our state to become a leader in the region’s food economy,” said Lieutenant Governor Matos. “The National Supermarket Association will be a valuable partner in reducing grocery costs for Rhode Island families, supporting our vibrant community of food producers and wholesalers, and eliminating food deserts in our state.”

“We are extremely grateful for the overwhelming support we have received from the state of Rhode Island. This commitment makes our mission more achievable and impactful. Our mission is to advance and support the independent supermarket owners by promoting innovation, sustainability, and community engagement. We rise by lifting others,” said William Rodriguez, NSA New England Chapter President.

Founded in 1989, the National Supermarket Association is a trade association representing the interests of independent grocery stores across the East Coast. Today’s announcement caps over eighteen months of discussions between Lieutenant Governor Matos and NSA leadership, during which the Lieutenant Governor has advocated for the selection of Rhode Island for NSA’s headquarters based on the state’s central location, competitive business costs, and rich talent pool. The NSA is making its investment in Providence without any economic or tax incentives from the state or city.

Through membership with the NSA, grocery stores can access exclusive vendor programs, receive technical assistance, benefit from proactive and reduced-rate food safety inspections, and participate in other programs meant to reduce supply and administrative costs and keep their products affordable. Over 700 grocery stores from Massachusetts to Florida are already members of the NSA. Independent grocery stores create 3,000 jobs and over $420 million in annual sales in Rhode Island, and over $15 billion in annual sales across New England.

The NSA specializes in opening grocery stores in communities and neighborhoods which are underserved by traditional grocery chains. In Rhode Island, over one in four census tracts are designated as low income and low access to fresh food, and nearly half of all Rhode Islanders of color live in one of these neighborhoods. As part of its work in the region, the NSA will seek opportunities to eliminate food deserts by bringing locally owned grocery stores with affordable, nutritious, and culturally relevant food to these underserved areas.