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READING MARKET BASKET

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Grand opening 4/30!

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  1. Oh Yea! Now we won't have to trek up to Middleton from Melrose. Didn't I read that MB was opening a store on Rte.1 North, Saugus sometime soon??

    What I'm really waiting for is the new TJ's in Saugus.

    20 Replies
    1. re: Gio

      You *like* Market Basket? I've only been in the Woburn and Burlington stores, and find them so incredibly dirty and with such cramped aisles, I just can't shop there.

      1. re: LindaWhit

        I have only been to the Woburn store, and found it dirty, too. But some of my SIL's go to one somehwere on the North Shore and love it. Say the prices are great- There is one in N Andover, not far from my office, but I never feel like grocery shoppiong after work. I am going to try the one in Reading. I HATE shaws, and usually go to Johnnies in Melrose, Wilson Farms in Lexington, BJ's and TJ in Burlington .

        1. re: macca

          There's an MB in Rowley on Rte.1 North. Have not been there myself but some of my friends who have an antique store in town shop there regularly and like it.....

        2. re: LindaWhit

          The Middleton store is very clean. Crowded but clean. We've been going there for a few months now. There's an organic produce aisle and I can find meats that neither Tendercrop Farm nor Wilson's does not carry. Plus, the prices are the lowest in the area.

          1. re: Gio

            That is the store my SILs rave about. Hope the reading store is as good. They said even the prices on non food items are as good as BJ's or WalMart

            1. re: macca

              I think the reason the Middleton store is so much better than others I've read about is that there is an upscale condo development very near by on that same road. For the life of me I can't remember the name but it's the same development co. as Parker Ridge in Newburyport.

              The prices are phenominal. And the selection of ethinc foods is vast.

          2. re: LindaWhit

            The Woburn store has been remodeled and is very clean now - VERY crowded but the aisles are much bigger. Hoping Reading will alleviate that situation!

            1. re: LindaWhit

              The Market Basket in Tewksbury is pretty good - large selection, clean store - better than the one in Andover, which unfortunately is not able to remodel due to leasing issues.

              1. re: Jeanne1116

                Thanks for all the replies, everyone! I will have to check out the Reading store as well. I have read that their ethnic food section is a lot better than Roche Bros., Stop & Shop and Shaws, so that'll be a bonus. Plus, since it's a new building, I'm hoping the crowded aisles won't occur.

                I forgot I also go into the Andover/Shawsheen Plaza MB, but only to pick up lottery tickets and English muffins for work, as well as the occasional frozen entree if I don't have anything for work lunch. :-)

              2. re: LindaWhit

                We were in the Burlington Market Basket just Friday evening and found it not at all dirty nor particularly cramped. It's certainly a more old-fashioned store than I usually shop in, but dirty and cramped? Less so than the average Stop and Shop, on both counts.

                Sure you're not thinking of the Somerville location? Because that one's definitely cramped and certainly on the dingy side.

                1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                  I think Linda was referring to the Woburn store- I was there a few years ago, and found it cramped and dirty, too. Never returned, as a matter of fact! Another posted let us know the store has been remodeled, so it may be better now.

                  1. re: macca

                    I was referring to both - last time I was in either store was at least 6-8 years ago. I knew the Woburn store had been remodeled; lived with the traffic anytime I wanted to go down Commerce Road or into the Woburn Mall for anything; hadn't realized the Burlington store may have also been remodeled. Either way - the experience was such I doubt I'll have a need to go there - but I will check out the new MB in Reading after the initial rush has died down.

                    1. re: LindaWhit

                      Never been to burlington- and only to woburn once! I may take a ride to the new reading store this weekend. still can't figure out why there would be a stop and shop and market basket right next to each other.

                  2. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                    I like the Burlington store, too. It's a bit run-down, and is certainly cramped and crowded, but I like the old-fashioned feel. The staff have a great attitude and every cash register is staffed by an actual human being! In addition, the prices are unbeatable.

                  3. re: LindaWhit

                    I like the Market Basket in Woburn & Tewksbury. I have also been to MB in Burlington, Wilmington, Middleton, Danvers & Salem. I don't like the MB in Chelsea and Somerville. I'm sure that the Reading MB will be crowded because it's brand new.

                    1. re: LindaWhit

                      The Woburn store has wider aisles than most, and is very clean most of the time.

                      The prices are hard to beat, and the quality and choice of the meats beats their competition hands down.

                      What you need tor realize with MB is that the store is actively stocked during shopping hours. That's what creates the more crowded feeling - there are clerks in every aisle with carts and pallets, stocking the shelves.

                      That is much more cost effective to do that relying on the off-hours for stocking. So that's part of the reason why MB has better cost control and can pass those savings onto customers.

                      Hey, you tell me where else you can get milk at $2.69 a gallon and Cabot butter at $2.49 a pound. That's the kind of savings they offer. THere are some odd things they are more expensive for, but generally, MB is the deal. (Their chicken livers are large and immaculate compared to their competitions...they do very well with odd cuts and offal and the like, which have virtually disappeared elselwhere. And I can get good fresh kielbasa there with ease. et cet.)

                      MB is *not* Whole Foods. And that's a good thing.

                      I also love the fact that MB (like Roche Bros) hires the developmentally disabled as active workers.

                      1. re: Karl S

                        As I said in my reply to macca above, the last time I was in either the Woburn or Burlington MB stores was 6-8 years ago. And the issue with crowded aisles in both stores at the time was not clerks stocking the shelves - it was people with their carts, corralling their children, or people just walking away from their carts while they shopped in the next aisle without any consideration for anyone else who might need to get down that aisle where they left their cart. If it's changed in either store since then with the recently completed renovation - great.

                        I will definitely check out the new Reading store, as I'd assume they're not building new stores to the same size specs as the older stores were built. And I will definitely check out their different items, such as milk. If they carry Organic Cow 1% milk at a lower price than I pay at Stop & Shop or Roche Bros.? Bonus! However, I'll pass on the offal - I'm not a fan of liver. :-)

                        1. re: Karl S

                          i agree. the somerville market basket has some of the best deals around. Also, the produce and meat are of a much better quality than shaws and stop and shop. that said, the place is a zoo and you need to take some deep breaths before you go down any aisle. So as long as you're cool with not the most pleasant shopping experience you'll get some great stuff for really good prices.

                          1. re: cambridgeMike

                            Most definitely agree on the need to mentally prepare before shopping at the Somervillle MB. I shop there often, as their produce is excellent, but I make sure I'm in a very calm and zen mental space before entering the store. I know that it will take me longer to shop, as I'll have to often wait a few seconds in order to reach the produce bin I'm heading towards. But like cambridgeMike says, it's totally worth it.

                        2. re: LindaWhit

                          I shop the Ashland store which is not near where I live. But in the past few years they too have cleaned up their act and things are much better. I like the quality and variety of their foods, and the prices are the best around.

                      2. Where is it located?

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: Chris VR

                          I googled it, and it says that is is right next to the new Stop & Shop.

                          I am thrilled if this is true, competition is good for the consumer!

                          1. re: mcel215

                            I bow to your superior Google skills- I couldn't find it anywhere!

                            NEXT to S&S? Innnnteresting.

                            1. re: Chris VR

                              hahaha

                          2. re: Chris VR

                            I thnk it is near Jordons furniture.

                            1. re: macca

                              It's in the same parking lot of the K&G Fashion Superstore on Walkers Brook Drive. K&G is next to the former Frugal Fannies building. The new Stop&Shop is next to the new Market Basket.

                          3. I cannot find a weekly sales circular online for market basket.

                            Anyone have a link?

                            Thanks.

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: mcel215

                              Market Basket doesn't post a weekly sales circular online (at least not yet). I got the grand opening notice in the weekly flyer (mail)

                              1. re: mcel215

                                Market Basket is very low tech - no website, either.

                                1. re: Karl S

                                  Curiously enough, although the company doesn't have a web site, they have a Fan Club! LOL

                                  http://www.freewebs.com/marketbasket/...

                                  1. re: Karl S

                                    Yah, they're really in the dark ages, definately on purpose to get you there. I do get this thread, it's a MB so what!

                                    1. re: Karl S

                                      I live in Billerica; within a 5-mile radius there are 5 Market Baskets, yet their circular is not included in the weekly Globe Direct mailing (includes Roche Bros and Shaws, and until recently S&S, all of which are farther away). It took several months from the time I called their Tewksbury main offices (a human anwers the phone) to ask to be added to their mailing list for the circular to start arriving....wouldn't you know, they then started hanging them in baggies on mailboxes, so now I get 2. They had the non-postal delivery service some years back, then stopped. I found that if you shop on Saturday evening, the sale prices for the current AND next week are in effect.

                                    2. re: mcel215

                                      Their "website" is www.supportmarketbasket.org ; it is mostly about their proposed Gloucester store, but includes the weekly circulars in PDF format and a location list of all the stores (except Reading), All stores are open Mon-Sat 7am to 9pm; Sun 7am to 7pm (a few locations are open til 9 on sunday but only during the summer Tilton NH and Seabrook NH and maybe a few others) f.y.i. since all stocking as well as the changing of the shelf labels occurs while the store is open, both the current week and the next week sales will apply all day on saturday (bring both flyers as the shelf tags may have already changed)

                                    3. I had a very negative experience at one of the Billerica stores and called corporate offices in Tewksbury to tell them about it. The man who called me back was very upset by what happened at the Billerica store. He said MB has spent a lot of money on customer svc training. I got the sense they are trying to shake their Merrimack Valley roots and expand to a wider audience.

                                      He called me back to see if I had gone back to this Billerica store and what my experience had been. I shop there because their organic section is half the cost of Whole Foods and I can typically get org. carrots, broccoli, cabbage, apples, and avocado. I also find their non-org. produce to be of good quality and price. Amy's frozen food entrees are up to $1.50 cheaper than Whole Foods.

                                      1. It's probably going to be a mad house tomorrow, but DH & I will be there.... just because.
                                        I'll be the one with the rose between her teeth.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: Gio

                                          Let us know how it is! If I think of it, I might try stopping there on the way home from work.

                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                            Will do..... wish us luck.

                                        2. Has anyone been in there yet today? Dying to go after work ~ 4p but not if its a mob scene.

                                          7 Replies
                                          1. re: shaebones

                                            Waiting on Gio's report. :-)

                                            1. re: LindaWhit

                                              Here I am. We got there about 11:00AM. Parking lot full, traffic coordinators everywhere, handicapped spaces full...but we found a regular space almost in back to the right as you drive in....no problem.

                                              Store was very crowded as you would expect, corporate suits everywhere...in groups of 3 or 5, other workers and suits I took to be buyers with name tags stationed in each aisle...everyone extremely helpful. Extremely!

                                              We zeroed on the produce and the meats. Naturally, the goods were top notch and the layout being similar to their other stores made things easy to find. Prices were pretty much the same as those in the MIddleton store...with the exception of the 2 Poblanos we bought. We paid $3.83 in Reading and the same would have been $.94 in Middleton. No accounting for that!

                                              We saw an expolsion of products... Golden Boy Sriracha, for example... unheard of outside Super 88, plus many other Asian items and a huge Goya selection.

                                              For us it will be a better trek than Middleton, but we will continue to go to Tendercrop for their organic meat and Malden Super 88 for Asian supplies.

                                              I must tell you, one of the suits saw us in line... me in the wheelie with 2 huge baskets, one on my lap and one on my feet. He ran up and directed us to the Express line...DH didn't want to do that but the fellow wouldn't take no...
                                              He stayed with us and put our bags in a wagon and wheeled it out to our car.
                                              I thought that was above and beyond, but then I knew he was presenting the company's best foot forward. I asked him about the rumor of MB opening on Rte.1 North, he said, " I can't speak to that." We'll probably shop there regularly. It was not a negative experience.

                                              1. re: Gio

                                                Thanks Gio! Based on the crowded opening, I might wait a bit or go on next week on a weeknight when hopefully it's slowed down after the initial opening weekend rush. Sounds like a place I'll need to check out!

                                                1. re: Gio

                                                  The sriracha is good to know about, but did they have Golden Boy peanuts?

                                                  1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                                                    Honestly, I didn't even know about Golden Boy peanuts. Why are they better than others? I'm tempted to return this coming Saturday. I'll look for them then.

                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                      Honestly, I don't know how good they are or not, but I'm on a quest to find them, and whenever I see Golden Boy products in a store, I have to look for the peanuts. It's a bit of an in-joke: Allstonian and I are big fans of a band called the Mountain Goats, whose song "Golden Boy" features the chorus "There are no Pan-Asian supermarkets down in hell, so you can't get Golden Boy peanuts."

                                                      They do exist -- I once found a website where you could buy an entire case online, which seemed a bit excessive -- but I've never been able to find them in stores.

                                                      1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                                                        Oh that's so wonderful! Believe me, I'll be looking for Golden Boy peanuts every where I go from now on.

                                                        Mountain Goats, hmmmmm..... Can you hum a few bars, perchance?

                                            2. I am waiting to hear what is on sale!

                                              Anyone go?

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: mcel215

                                                To tell you the truth, I can't remember what is on sale. I had a shopping list based on what I am cooking for the next few days and bought what I needed regardless of the cost. But I will say that I saw many people with wagons literally overflowing; more so than what I've seen in the past.

                                                Nothing beats going yourself to check out what your family needs are.

                                              2. When I got there ~ 4p the cops were still directing traffic in the parking lot. Was circling to leave b/c I can't deal w crowds and I scammed a parking spot right up front. Although crowded there was plenty of room to maneuver and all registers were open so NO LINES! The store is beautiful and the produce section impressive for MB They were giving out lobster rolls. LOVE IT!!!!

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: shaebones

                                                  You mean to tell me I missed the lobster rolls???? Whaaaaaa.......

                                                  1. re: Gio

                                                    Went there around 5 yesterday. Madhouse and parking lot is not well organized. It will be interesting to see what happens once crowds die. Only shopped MB once, was impressed. Prices quite a bit cheaper than other grocery stores.

                                                    spoke to one of the suits, nothing on sale for grand opening yet but he said they may have something this weekend or next. It will be interesting to see if they have this many people working after a while. There was so many employees stocking and keeping shelves looking neat and lots of great customer service.

                                                    FYI, I didn't see any free samples especially lobster rolls. I was hoping since this was opening day there would be great samples and cheap prices but none to be found.

                                                    Also, FYI, Calaresos in Reading just had their Customer Appreciation weekend, last weekend. If anyone goes, you know how great that is! Free Doms Steak Tips, Sausage, Pizza samples and cheap produce. Now that is something to look forward to. I will try to post when it is again next year, usually spring.

                                                    A few things I noticed, the shelves are packed with number of items, but hard to scan because they pack the shelves with so much stuff. Also, I go to grocery stores and try to buy stuff on sale and make food from there. Also, hard to know what is on sale. Small signs saying sale and the signs don't stick out like shaws do.

                                                    Asian area small, carrying basic joyce chen stuff but surprisingly had fish sauce and a lot of lee kum kee products. Prepared area, basic chicken, salads, rolls, Sushi didn't look too bad, but not cheap. Avg price, (Rainbow roll $9). Only organic milk was happy cow, but 3.00 this week.

                                                    Overall, looking forward to shopping there, since I live around the corner!

                                                    1. re: cdoobiest

                                                      Chuckling a bit over all the interest in and expectations for MB. I've lived in the heart of MB territory for 30+ years. Since they keep overall prices lower than competitors', I don't expect frills like freebies and lots of staff. They do pull out the stops under special circumstances - 15 yrs ago when a huge blizzard was due on a Sat afternoon, they had all registers staffed in the morning, with other workers managing a single line that snaked around the perimeter as in a bank, so all cashiers had equal volume. They passed out samples of OJ and donuts. Shoppers were pleased at how smoothly it worked.

                                                      There's a weekly circular so I'm not sure why folks are wondering what the sales are. In the MB's I usually visit, on Sat p.m. the registers record sale prices for both the current week and the one starting Sunday.

                                                      In recent years MB has been stocking more and more upscale and specialty items. Yesty in Wilmington one side of the aisle I happened to be in was devoted to organics. There was a Bob's Red Mill display to rival WFM. As I'm just starting to bake with yeast I was happy to see all the alternative grain choices. Don't know how new this is - baking supplies were in a different aisle so maybe it escaped my notice before.

                                                      Interesting how many CHers are praising their meat and produce. For years I have shopped elsewhere for most fresh foods, having been too often disappointed in MB meat, fish, and bakery; with produce of unreliable quality - sometimes excellent but often sub-par. Yesterday I bought the baby carrots because both the 1 and 5# bags of carrots looked iffy. After an injury which made walking painful, I went to small, independent Lucci's (Wilmington) because it's compact and parking is very close. They have excellent meat. Overall prices a little higher than MB but less than the other big guys. Sale prices are often excellent, e.g. 69 cents/lb for Vidalia Onions, which is the same as MB's sale price. And I think Roche Bros has excellent prepared foods, produce, fish, and meat - prices on par w/Shaws and S&S.

                                                2. Thumbs up from me. I was there after lunch today and it was busy but not insane. I could maneuver the battleship that is a cart with extra seat (for up to 3 kids) around without too much collateral damage. The front of the store is more spacious than the others I've been into, and that makes a difference. I got some good prices, even not buying anything on sale. It was so lovely to see almost all the registers open. I don't know how long they'll maintain that level of staffing but it was so nice to just be able to walk up to a register.

                                                  I like the bakery section, with fresh baked breads behind the counter and an impressive looking selection of cakes.

                                                  I'd guess my bill was at least $20 less than a similar trip to Shaw's/Stop & Shop would have been, so I'll be back for sure.

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: Chris VR

                                                    Chris, if the bakery section tempts you, don't buy more than a couple of items at first. It's been a long time since I've had their bread or cake; unless they have since revamped their recipes, you will probably be disappointed. I thought their cakes were mostly dry and overly sweet; the breads airy and tasteless. My overall impression was that they used the cheapest, and smallest amounts of, ingredients that they could possibly get away with. They did, however, make a honey-dip donut that if fresh compared well with DD's, and the marble brownies were nice and moist.

                                                    1. re: greygarious

                                                      Good to know- I bought 2 cupcakes for dessert tonight and a few breads. I'll report back!

                                                      1. re: Chris VR

                                                        We bought a nice loaf of Scali the other day. I think you have to seriously look at the breads offered and pick the least processed. I'm glad MB is there..... but I'm really waiting for TJ's on Rte. 1.

                                                        1. re: Chris VR

                                                          Yeah, as you predicted, cupcakes were exactly that- dry and oversweet. Oh well, I've got other bakery options around here.

                                                    2. I went to the Reading MB yesterday morning around 8am. The parking lot was pretty full and it was early in the morning. MB opens at 7am every day. It was raining lightly and MB had employees with embrellas in the parking lot escorting customers in and out of the store. There were plenty of MB suits in the store and all of the employees were super friendly. Let's see how long the employees will be super friendly once the newness of the grand opening dies down? I asked one of the employees why MB doesn't have a website? He stated that they are working on that. I like the new Reading MB. There were no lines at the cashiers and I think they were all open yesterday morning. I'm surprised that they built the store so close to the new Stop&Shop? The Stop&Shop building is very close to the MB parking lot.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: buffet king

                                                        I was there on Saturday afternoon - same with the suits, the umbrellas, and lots of friendly helpful faces. I was impressed with the prices on lots of things - Organic Cow milk was 79 cents less than S&S or Roche Bros. (although it did have a sale tag, so not sure if that will stay that low). Good prices on various meats; I didn't get a long chance to really check prices out, as the place was packed.

                                                        Lines - there were definitely several on Saturday afternoon, and whoever was on the PA system kept asking shoppers to turn their carts to the side to others could get through.

                                                        I will definitely be back as well; it's about as out of my way as Roche Bros. is, but I'll want to check things out even more for my staples once the hub-bub dies down.

                                                        I also was a bit floored at the close proximity of the MB and S&S; will be interesting to see how that plays out.

                                                      2. Can't comment on the Reading store since we shop the one in Rindge, NH, but at least in rural NH, they have the best meat and lowest prices on grocery staples. The pre-pack produce is a gamble, tho.

                                                        There is a Hannaford's down the road and it's always a question of whether I am in the mental state to fight the crowds, cart crazy drivers and omnipresent staff re-stocking the shelves at the busiest times at MB to save some money and have decent meat, or drive down the road with big, clear aisles, higher pricer and a meh meat selection.

                                                        Mostly, I try to shop at MB in the early am during the week to avoid this dilemma.

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: Tedmom

                                                          Is Litchfield near you? Wilson Farms has a farm and store there.... here's a link:
                                                          http://www.wilsonfarm.com/farmstand.html

                                                          1. re: Gio

                                                            I would second Wilson for produce, bakery, cheeses etc. I almost exclusively use the Lexington location- though I did swing by Whole Foods this weekend to check it out, and loved the oranges and strawberries.

                                                        2. In addition to stocking during the day, MB is also a non-union shop which keeps their prices low. The Reading developer played both stores against each other; neither was happy when they found out. S&S is moving out (the cost is probably chump change to Athold) soon.

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: rsalz

                                                            With regards to the S&S, is that a confirmed fact (that it's moving out) or your opinion on where things are headed?

                                                            1. re: Ladycale

                                                              No offence to previous poster, but I can't see S&S moving out when they just built that huge store less than a year ago. If it was an old store, I could see it but it is a Super Stop and Shop. I did however wish Whole Foods would take it over!

                                                              They were going to move into that new Reading development off of 95 until the project got nixed

                                                              1. re: cdoobiest

                                                                The rumor I heard was that the S&S in Reading was going to be a Christmas Tree Shop. There's hardly anyone ever at that store as I drive by to go to the new Market Basket. Remember, the fairly new S&S in Danvers (Liberty Tree Mall) closed recently and I've heard it's going to turn into a Nordstrom's Basement sort of store.