CHAPEL HILL — Triangle food entrepreneur Sara Foster has sold the Chapel Hill location of Fosters 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 Fosters 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.
Its a great opportunity for both of us, Foster added.
Foster and Cuni emphasized continuity, saying nothing would change at either location of Fosters Market. Cuni will keep the Fosters name for at least two years, and Foster will still be involved.
Saras presence will still be here, Cuni said.
Foster is a trained chef who worked for Martha Stewarts 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. Shes 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 Nordstroms cafe before joining Fosters 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 Fosters 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 didnt want it not to be here.