BOSTON -- Despite formidable competition from the likes of Star Market, Trader Joe's and mainstream chains with sizable natural-food sections, Bread & Circus here is thriving. The Bread & Circus subdivision of the Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods Market chain, headquartered in Newton Highlands, Mass., operates six stores in greater Boston. Whole Foods has recently announced its plan to acquire the four-unit Nature's Heartland chain, also here, which would strengthen its position even ...

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