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Whole Foods Market, the natural foods supermarket, is coming to the Buffalo area some time in 2016. But the company is not saying where the store will be.

The national chain announced today that it has signed leases for nine stores, and Buffalo is among its new locations.

“After many years of hearing from residents of Buffalo, and its surrounding communities, we’re thrilled to officially announce plans to bring a Whole Foods Market to Western New York," spokesman Michael Sinatra said in a release. “We will announce the exact location in partnership with the developer in the near future. We look forward to creating new career opportunities, partnering with local food purveyors and serving this community. We hope to open in 2016.”

Whole Foods operates 14 stores New York state, with the 15th scheduled to open in Albany in June.

The company also has six stores, including the Buffalo site, in development throughout the state, Sinatra said.

The company has 379 stores and 114 more in development. The announcement was part of the chain’s second-quarter earnings report.

The presence of the specialty chain will be an interesting addition to the expanding speciality food market in the area, which includes Wegmans, Premier Gourmet, Orchard Fresh, and Trader Joe’s.

email: fin@buffnews.com