Foster's Market in Chapel Hill sold to new owner

aweigl@newsobserver.comDecember 23, 2012 

— Triangle food entrepreneur Sara Foster has sold the Chapel Hill location of Foster’s Market.

Foster, 60, sold the 7,000-square-foot restaurant and retail store on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to longtime employee Sera Cuni, 36, and her partner, Susan White. The women signed the deal Friday.

Foster will keep control of the Durham location of Foster’s Market, which she opened 22 years ago.

“My lease is up next year,” Foster said, explaining the sale of the Chapel Hill location. “I was debating whether to renew the lease for another 10 years, at which point I would be 70. I thought it was a good Phase One of me starting to cut back.”

“It’s a great opportunity for both of us,” Foster added.

Foster and Cuni emphasized continuity, saying nothing would change at either location of Foster’s Market. Cuni will keep the Foster’s name for at least two years, and Foster will still be involved.

“Sara’s presence will still be here,” Cuni said.

Foster is a trained chef who worked for Martha Stewart’s catering company in the 1980s. In 1990, she moved to Durham and opened her gourmet food store and restaurant along U.S. 15-501. Eight years later, she opened the Chapel Hill location. She’s written four well-regarded cookbooks. Two years ago, she was named Restaurateur of the Year by the N.C. Restaurant and Lodging Association.

Cuni graduated from a culinary school in Connecticut before relocating to the Triangle in 2001. She worked as a chef at The Fearrington House Inn and Nordstrom’s cafe before joining Foster’s team in 2006. She worked as a chef and kitchen manager before becoming general manager in 2008.

Cuni said she loves the community that surrounds Foster’s Market in Chapel Hill and has always wanted to own her own restaurant.

“I think of this place as my dinner party,” Cuni said. “This is such a successful brand that I didn’t want it not to be here.”

Weigl: 919-829-4848

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service