Thursday, December 18, 2014
My Account  | Login
Nashua;41.0;http://forecast.weather.gov/images/wtf/small/bkn.png;2014-12-18 15:10:47
Saturday, August 30, 2014

Love affair between Market Basket and its customers

By Telegraph staff

PORTSMOUTH – A sign in the window of Market Basket on Lafayette Road welcomes back loyal customers and thanks everyone for supporting the employees during a nearly six-week standoff with management that ended this week.

Upon entering the store, the first thing you see is smiles, and then you hear an associate sincerely welcoming you back and offering a shopping cart. ...

Sign up to continue

Print subscriber?    Sign up for Full Access!

Please sign up for as low as 36 cents per day to continue viewing our website.

Digital subscribers receive

  • Unlimited access to all stories from nashuatelegraph.com on your computer, tablet or smart phone.
  • Access nashuatelegraph.com, view our digital edition or use our Full Access apps.
  • Get more information at nashuatelegraph.com/fullaccess
Sign up or Login

PORTSMOUTH – A sign in the window of Market Basket on Lafayette Road welcomes back loyal customers and thanks everyone for supporting the employees during a nearly six-week standoff with management that ended this week.

Upon entering the store, the first thing you see is smiles, and then you hear an associate sincerely welcoming you back and offering a shopping cart.

You also see a lot of groceries available – though not all of the produce, meats and some other items – as the 71-store chain gets back on its feet under newly reinstalled leader Arthur T. Demoulas.

Greg Packard, store manager, said being back to work in a store full of customers is like Christmas to him.

“We just happen to sell food here, but the business we are in, to our minds, is customer service,” Packard said Friday. “Everyone who comes through here, whether they work here or shop here, are family. This is what we do, and we have missed our family. We could not be happier.”

Packard, who has been with Market Basket for 41 years, said the store is pretty well stocked now. He said there are still a few gaps, but predicted that within a week, the store will be back to exactly what everyone expects.

“It’s amazing how fast we are getting back in stride,” Packard said. “We’ve got some dairy, produce, meat and pork today. We are expecting deliveries of chicken tomorrow. We have produce like peppers, but maybe not all the varieties just yet.

“It’s a team effort, and we are working around the clock to once again be the store our customers love.”

Customers were thrilled to have their grocery store back.

“I found everything I came for,” Portsmouth resident Pat Michaud said. “I honored the boycott, and wouldn’t have come near the place until this was settled.

“I shopped elsewhere, but only for what I really needed. The extras I waited for, waited to come back here.”

Mike Gately, a resident of Kittery, Maine, said he stayed away during the boycott, too. Friday was his first time back.

“It was important for customers to show respect for Artie T. and the employees,” Gately said. “All of these stores and all of these people walked out to show their respect for a man who has treated them so well.

“These people made history. I heard more stories during this time about how Artie T. and his group went out of their way to help employees when they were going through hard times. You always see the same people working here. They did a remarkable thing here.”

Gately said he found most of what he came for. Still, he’s fine with that and said he expects to be able get everything he wants within a week or two.

“I was actually surprised there was so much stock in there already,” Gately said.

Market Basket employees were clearly nervous about the drastic step they decided to take to bring their chief executive officer back. Packard said they had no choice.

“We knew we were doing the right thing,” Packard said. “We knew the management being brought in and what would happen to this business, to us. We decided if we were going down, we were going down fighting. Instead, we won back what we all love.”

Packard said Artie T. comes to his store often.

“He visits all the stores,” Packard said. “When he comes, he asks about family, always, before he discusses business.

“In most companies, you feel like a number. That is not the case here. And we feel the same way about all of our customers. They are family and friends. We are thrilled.”