Market Basket, aka DeMoules Supermarkets Inc., is our supermarket.
If you live almost anywhere outside of New England, you may not know about this fast moving news story about the grocery stores known as “Market Basket.” We have been affected by this story as have many thousands if not millions of New Englanders and this is just one family’s little story about what’s going on.
Our Salem Market Basket
You can read about the history of this story above by clicking on the links above. I will just give you our small side of the story here.
We used to do our food shopping at Stop & Shop. That store is located just 2 minutes up the street from us at a local shopping center called Vinnin Square. For probably 26 of the 28 years we’ve been married and have lived in this spot, we’ve done all our food shopping there. I never knew that the prices at S&S were so high until the last few years when people we know started saying that we might want to try shopping at Market Basket instead, for lower prices.
When I became unable to physically walk the aisles of S&S any longer, I looked into their service of delivery of groceries called PeaPod. I joined up and for about two years I used this service. I’d go online and pull up their website of all foods and products they offer and check whatever I needed for that week. It is a very well-run service, I have to admit, and it was super easy doing the shopping this way. I’d specify what time I wanted my groceries delivered and I had nothing but good things to report about this – except for one thing – the cost! I was giving the delivery man a $5 tip on top of the delivery fee the store charged. I also noticed that when I would order things like meats, I always got the BEST cuts of meat I’ve ever bought, probably because they got to choose them and why would they choose the cut-rate cuts of meat when they could sell me the most expensive ones?
After a while I started to calculate that I was spending way too much on groceries and I was nearing retirement age and didn’t want that huge bill every week. Paul suggested we try shopping at Market Basket in Salem, about a mile or two by car from here. He also said that HE would do the shopping there if it meant we’d be saving money! I finally agreed to this plan.
The first step was to do a week’s worth of shopping at Stop & Shop and then to buy the same list of groceries the following week at Market Basket. Needless to say, the comparison in prices was staggering and eye-opening. My bill from Stop & Stop was almost twice as much as my bill from Market Basket! For the same foods!
We switched then and there to Market Basket. I used to spend upwards of (and sometimes more than) $200 a week on my food bill from S&S, and now, shopping at MB, I will have a bill of anywhere between about $65 and $120 tops. Usually my tally is about $85 for a week’s worth of groceries. Wow. I was so impressed, and we quickly started telling everyone we knew about this place.
We also get 4% off our already-low total every week!
I, personally, only shopped there a few times so didn’t get too familiar with the store. Paul goes once a week now for us and he has had quite a learning curve in the art of food shopping. It was quite difficult for him at first just because he never did food shopping at all before in his life. Just little things he’d pick up when necessary, like milk or Cheerios or something small. Now he does the whole shopping trip in under an hour from door-to-door. He is amazing.
I did not know the history behind all the family feuding that had been going on in the DeMoules family until the last week or two. All I knew was that we would be Market Basket customers forever.
Then, in the last couple of weeks, the CEO of MB, Arthur T. DeMoules, who is credited with making this chain of family-owned stores into the food-mecca that it has become, was fired by the Board!
As you can see by reading the story I linked to above, the employees, of which there are approximately 25,000 around New England but mostly in Massachusetts, were stunned and horrified. Apparently, this store, as run by Arthur T. DeMoules, has been the best place to work all these years and the employees can’t say enough good things about it and Mr. DeMoules.
As of now, several people have been fired and the stores are emptying out. The employees are protesting all over the place – it’s on the news on TV right now. Today is a big day, the Board is meeting to decide whether Arthur T. will be able to buy out the Board’s just over 50% shares of this store and become the CEO once again.
The vendors have boycotted – the shelves are all empty in the stores…
… the employees are outside in the parking lots rallying and protesting this take-over by the “other” side of this family who only want to sell off the company to the highest bidder, pocket their big profits, and turn it into just another grocery chain – like the ones we all had abandoned for Market Basket in the first place. This Board that is the “villain” in this story has not been involved in the actual stores at all, they all have their own separate lives and don’t even know the customer base or the employees at all! They are clueless greedy low-lives, in my humble opinion.
When Arthur T. DeMoules was asked once if he worked for a supermarket, he said “No, I work for people,” and he meant it. He has been amazing all these years, and employees in the many thousands and his customers in the millions all agree…
“We want Arthur T. back in the driver’s seat at Market Basket.”
So today we are waiting to hear how this big Board meeting goes. We want our store back. We don’t want our food prices to double again.
Oh, and by the way, Paul did our shopping at Stop & Shop the other day, in solidarity with the employees of Market Basket (and also because the shelves up there are becoming bare), and he got only about six or seven plastic bags of groceries for a total cost of about $87. This is about half of what we normally buy for the same price at Market Basket. We usually get about 12 bags of groceries for about the same price!
That’s our story. Wish us luck.
Cheers for the good guys of this world, and jeers for the greedy b’stards who only care about their profits.
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