Pete's Fine Foods will be bought by Sobeys Inc., according to a statement released Thursday.

The grocery retail and wholesale business has locations in Bedford and Halifax. The purchase is expected to close Nov. 2.

Pete Luckett founded the business 40 years ago. He says the sale has been in the works since June. 

"The time is right. I'm getting old and crusty," Luckett told CBC News.

"We've been working together towards today and it's been an incredible ride. They've been true gentlemen to deal with. We came to an agreement. You know what's special is that it's not being absorbed as a regular Sobeys network. They are buying our brand. The look, the mood, the mix, the culture, the team — all our team are maintaining their positions." 

Luckett says he'll be making a transition into the wine industry. But he will stay on as a consultant for the next 10 years. 

"I'll be in a wheelchair, tweaking the bananas and stroking the mangoes. I'll still be there." 

Staff were informed of the sale Thursday evening. 

"Pete has instilled a unique culture in his stores and a food offer that resonates with his customers," said Peter Doucette, Sobeys Atlantic General Manager in the release.

"We don't want to change that. In fact, we want to build the Pete's brand and grow the opportunities for the business in Atlantic Canada. With Sobeys' resources and ability to support growth and expansion in the region, we can make that happen."

Luckett wouldn't disclose the details of the purchase.