Roche Bros. To Meet Need For Grocery Store At Kendall Square In Cambridge

Kendall Square Brothers Marketplace

A rendering of the Brothers Marketplace at Kendall Square

Roche Bros. plans to open a new Brothers Marketplace in Kendall Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 2019. Kendall Square is a development of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

The 19,000-s.f. Brothers Marketplace is expected to open in the summer. The ground floor of One Broadway currently is under construction to make room for the future grocer as well as a repositioned lobby, a restaurant and a new home for Dunkin’ Donuts. The One Broadway renovations are part of a larger development at the site, which will include 300 residential units and an additional 12,800 s.f. of retail.

A grocery store was the most requested retail use specified by neighborhood residents, local employees and students during the zoning process for the development of MIT’s Kendall Square Initiative, which was granted special permit approval by the City of Cambridge in May 2016. It aims to “foster a vibrant mixed-use district featuring six new buildings on what are now MIT-owned parking lots in the East Campus/Kendall Square area, including three buildings for research and development, two for housing, and one for retail and office space. When built out, it will add 1.8 million square feet of lab, office, residential, retail, cultural and academic space, as well as 2 acres of programmed open space to the already thriving district.”

“The community’s desire for a grocery store was raised in every conversation that we had with stakeholders during our zoning process,” according to Steve Marsh, managing director of MIT’s Real Estate group, which is overseeing the development. “It is so important to those who live and work in Kendall that we worked to incorporate it in the earliest possible phase of our development. Going forward, we believe that the market will also serve as an anchor for other retailers that contribute to a vibrant neighborhood and greater sense of place in the square.”

The Brothers Marketplace format is designed to provide customers with grab-and-go items quickly in addition to grocery essentials. The new Cambridge location will feature prepared foods made in-store, baked goods, fresh produce, local seafood, antibiotic- and hormone-free meats, local and international cheeses and offerings from local producers such as Cambridge’s own Iggy’s Bread and Bonnie’s Jams.

The new market is expected to bring about 50 jobs to the neighborhood. Roche Bros. has a long history of working closely with the communities it serves around philanthropy and employment opportunities. The company has won numerous awards for job quality and workforce development. Its partnership with the Chinese Progressive Association and Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center, for example, offered immigrant workers the chance to learn English while working in the company’s Downtown Crossing location.

“We are excited to open our Brothers Marketplace store in Kendall Square and meet the local community’s longstanding need for a grocery store,” says Rick Roche, co-owner and CEO of Roche Bros. “The MIT/Kendall Square neighborhood is a dynamic and growing community, and we hope our neighborhood market becomes a favorite grocery and dining experience for area residents and businesses.”

Currently, residents must travel outside the Kendall Square area to shop for food.

Cambridge City Councilor Tim Toomey, who has advocated for the needs of East Cambridge residents for nearly three decades, expressed his enthusiasm for the new market, saying, “This will be tremendously helpful to the residents of the area. The market will fill a gap that has existed for many years, and its presence will bring a very positive impact to the neighborhood. I commend MIT for leading with this project.”

Brothers Marketplace has locations in Medfield and Weston, Massachusetts, with plans to open its Waltham location in spring 2018.

Headquartered in Wellesley, Massachusetts, Roche Bros. is a family business employing more than 4,800 associates in its 19 Roche Bros., Sudbury Farms and Brothers Marketplace grocery stores.

About The Author

A veteran 20-year editor of The Griffin Report who often tours various supermarkets to check out the latest trends. When he isn’t writing, he enjoys sports, his family and young, energetic grandchild.