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Market Basket

I really don't shop there often, but look forward to doing a short road trip and shopping there soon. We'll be visiting the Brockton branch.

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  1. I ready to go back, even if the prices rise a bit, it's still going to be a better value than S&S or Shaws/Star. Plus, I will support ATD and all the MB employee's. How could I forget all the savings I received over the past decades.

    10 Replies
    1. re: treb

      I agree and I do miss many of the products I can only find at MB. We'll see if Artie T. offers any good deals to the customers who immediately come back to the stores. I agree that prices will rise, no doubt. But I also think there should be some incentives to go back.

      1. re: marilu

        why should there be some added incentive for shoppers to return? 6 weeks of the employees remaining true to both arthur t. and principles wasn't enough to solidify your loyalty? an old-fashioned work-stoppage with an unprecedented result is enough for me.

        1. re: hotoynoodle

          Yep. There's already incentive to go back: the prices you like, the great staff, and the products you can only find at MB. What more do you think is due you?

          1. re: hotoynoodle

            "6 weeks of the employees remaining true to both arthur t. and principles wasn't enough to solidify your loyalty"

            The opposite for me as I feel the employees abandoned their customers and put the future of the business in jeapordy for their own self interests. Unpopular opinion for sure around here.

            Also, I didnt really find that I was spending that much more at Hanneford's - $20 /wk maybe and I enjoyed the extra hour each Sunday not driving to Burlington, searching for parking, and waiting in the check out line. Shopping experience was more relaxed as well as i always feel in the way of someone at MB. And ALL my produce actually made it through the whole week without having to throw anything out.

            For now I'm sticking with Hannefords and I'll reconsider shopping at MB when they open the Waltham location.

            1. re: LStaff

              $20 a week is about the increase I've been spending. That's about a grand a year. To me, that's significant. I was glad to support the employees and would have stayed away even if the stores were fully stocked.

              Even if prices have to rise to offset this outcome, I will still shop there. If these people didn't stand up for themselves, they would have been devoured or worn down to a nub. That's the world we're in now, particularly for blue collar people. Artie T creating a small alternate universe of a workplace is something many, myself included, admire.

              1. re: LStaff

                would arthur t. be back in charge if they behaved as you suggested? and would market basket be the same store?

                1. re: LStaff

                  not everybody has an extra $20 a week and that is exactly the demographic targeted by the original market basket mission statement.

                  it's remarkable to me that managers and hourly employers stood together and stood firm, without any kind of union to format a strategy -- truly a grass-roots movement.

                  it was arthur s. and his two transparently voracious ceo's who were about to abandon the customers for their own self-interests and short-term money-grubbing for shareholders.

                  over these last weeks i went to a couple of hannaford's, which were utter zoos and the produce shelves were shockingly bare. they clearly could not keep up with demand, although the cashiers were very pleasant.

                  we went to the fletcher st. mb tonight after returning from maine. the yogurt and butter sections were pretty bare, as were the meat case and the produce department. hand-printed posters were all over the store alongside professional signs from arthur t, thanking the staff and the customers.

                  we said "congratulations" to all the workers with whom we made eye contact. you could tell they were both thrilled and bursting with pride.

                  astonishing outcome.

                  1. re: hotoynoodle

                    It must be a great company to work for...something we don't have enough of.

                    I can't think of any company I've ever worked for that was such a great place that I'd have risked my livelihood to stand up for a great boss.

              2. re: marilu

                Why? What incentives do you need to get honest food for an honest dollar? I actually expect that the prices will rise after the New Year, and will still shop there for the quality and variety.

                1. re: smtucker

                  I don't think you'll see any major change in pricing after the first of the year other than the 4% discount being offered on most items through the end of this year.

                  That 4% discount that Arthur T. implemented before he was ousted should help finance the buyout when it's added back to the revenue next year. That would have been brilliant thinking if that was his plan.

            2. I am so happy to have the market back. We have been getting by on the garden, freezer and lightly supplementing from the overpriced retailers in my area. Can't wait to stock up!!!

              1. I've never set foot in one, but have been watching the updates...it's a huge testament to Arthur T. that his employees and customers have been so loyal.

                The tragedy is the shredding of family bonds -- those won't heal for a long, long time, if ever.

                9 Replies
                1. re: sunshine842

                  they were already shredded long ago. that's in part why this happened.

                  1. re: Madrid

                    but this destroyed whatever might have been left, and spilled over to those who hadn't previously taken sides.

                    Still sad.

                  2. re: sunshine842

                    It's not really a tragedy if they dislike each other so much.

                    1. re: LeoLioness

                      I think A-T called it a Greek Tragedy

                      1. re: LeoLioness

                        it's a tragedy when any family becomes so irretrievably broken.

                        1. re: sunshine842

                          I disagree. Blood ties are overrated, imo. It's important to surround yourself with people you love and like (and equally healthy to avoid those who cause great emotional strife), regardless of their lineage to you.

                          1. re: LeoLioness

                            I'm sorry that the people to whom you related are not people you can love or like.

                            That's 100% sincere, by the way.

                            1. re: sunshine842

                              I'm not, so thanks, but 100% not necessary.

                      2. re: sunshine842

                        The employees read the writing on the wall. It is not as simple as they had great respect for Arthur T. It is that with the new regime, it was clear that things would change considerably in the not too distant future and have a huge negative impact on their livelihood. Trusting, admiring, and being loyal to Arthur T is only half the story. They were in a damned if you do and damned if you don't act now.

                      3. I'm looking forward to the completion of the new Waltham store in the upcoming 1265 Main complex! Check out the progress on this blog page...the inside of the store is almost ready for the cases...
                        http://1265main.wordpress.com/2014/07...

                        1. I'll be back to my usual Somerville MB routine this weekend and can't wait. There was something wrong with waiting for the bus a block from MB to go to Shaws....

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: LeoLioness

                            Do you know if Somerville MB will be open on Monday, Labor Day? I am eager to get your report on the supplies in that store over this weekend.

                          2. OP, I do a monthly-or-so pantry run at the Brockton MB (I don't live in the immediate area so I consider it a short road trip too!) It's not as huge as the Chelsea one but plenty big enough. It's one of the newer stores, so even if there's a pallet in the aisle you can still get around it fairly easily, depending on how many people may be in front or back of you. Hint: Go mid-week in the early afternoon if you can. Little to no crowds :)

                            1. I went to the Somerville MB yesterday evening. There were some missing dairy items (thought that is not unusual) and the produce was pretty sparse. The deli cases were full, as were the prepackaged fish and meat and bakery. No cooked whole chickens, but a few packages of some kind of part I didn't look closely at.

                              It was in many ways just the same as ever. (there was no celebratory air that I could detect, though employees appreciated when people said congratulations or it's nice to be back.)

                              It was only about 2/3 full and people were just as in the way of each other as ever, leaving baskets marooned in the middle of aisles, walking four abreast, etc. Cashiers still mystified by a some few of my grocery items. For all the giggling/complaining I have done over the years about trips to MB, I was really happy to be back. And glad that I can shop somewhere where regular working people were able to fight for themselves and win.

                              1. went to mb this morning around 9:00. admittedly a holiday weekend, but normally the store would have been jammed and it was pretty empty.

                                where are all the loyal customers?

                                11 Replies
                                1. re: hotoynoodle

                                  CBS Morning News did a piece on MB just this morning -- pretty openly in admiration of employees and customers who were willing to make a loud-and-clear statement about the recent brouhaha.

                                  I don't think I'd want to be Arthur T. these days -- tremendous elation because of the victory, more than a little overwhelmed by the support from the employees and the community, and the incredible pressure to now recover from the damage and to go forth and prosper.

                                  (more power to him, though)

                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                    This is exactly the reason I plan to shop there more often, out of respect for the employees who couragiously stood up for themselves. The savings will likely washout with gas and time invested, but for me, for awhile, it is the right thing to do.

                                    1. re: Madrid

                                      fletcher st. in lowell. not a location where most of the regular shoppers are able to afford weekends away.

                                      1. re: hotoynoodle

                                        sorry, this should read "where most of the regular shoppers are NOT able to afford weekends away."

                                    2. re: hotoynoodle

                                      Somerville MB's parking lot was full, but not nuts, at 9am this morning. I didn't go in the store, so can't comment on how many people were actually shopping. My first trip back is tomorrow morning. Will report back if there is anything worth reporting.

                                      1. re: smtucker

                                        I was at Roche Bros which is usually a zoo and it was really not crowded at all. I don't think people are grocery shopping this weekend.

                                        1. re: JudyHP

                                          I too hit Roche Bros and was surprised at how slow it was, and funnily enough assumed it was MB taking the business, but sounds like peeps must of been out of town

                                        2. re: smtucker

                                          my DH was at MB Somerville early and said parking lot was full, but possible to find a space. Store was full, not as full as usual, but he usually goes later on Sunday morning and even worse, late Sat. morning.

                                          1. re: smtucker

                                            MB this morning was pretty typical for a Sunday morning. The parking lot was about half full and filling up pretty quickly.

                                            The first two cheese cases are pretty well stocked. On first blush, the yogurt appears to be stocked until you realize that almost everything is Chobani with a few Stonyfields thrown in. Cottage cheese is stocked! Milk products were also well stocked. The deli was doing a huge business so I assume they had product to sell.

                                            Down a few of the aisles, the oil selection is pretty slim. Olive, canola, and vegetable, no grape seed or sunflower. Grilling condiments such as ketchup were well stocked. Goya aisle was full. Freshly made Joseph's pitas. Forgot to check on the Cinco de Mayo tortillas.

                                            The lamb and pork case had food, but it wasn't overflowing. Plenty of beef. Poultry was slim pickings. No Cape Cod potato chips yet, but lots of Utz and Lays. Produce was fairly well stocked, with the exception of the mustard, dandelion and other leafy greens.

                                            I didn't do a fully, comprehensive review of all the aisles. Lots of welcome back signs and lots of smiling customers and employees.

                                            1. re: smtucker

                                              My roommates finally made it to Market Basket at noon. Yogurt was gone... she referenced locusts. Workers were struggling to replenish both the yogurt and other milk products. They bought some items even though they never shop at MB. Just seemed like the right thing to do, I was told.

                                        3. we were in the North Andover store this morning. Steady but not crazy as it can be on a Sunday morning.

                                          No alot of yogurt (fage) but plenty of milk, cheese etc.
                                          and most meats were stocked although not the ribs were were considering for Monday.
                                          And there was plenty of fresh fruit and veggies.
                                          the staff had cake for all the customers, to show their appreciation. I felt like I should be bringing them cake.

                                          good to be back!

                                          1. The parking lot at the Burlington store was as crazy as ever shortly after noon today. It was a challenge finding a space. The cashier at the Paper Store said they are thrilled that MB is back, but now she can't find a place to park.

                                            The stock was getting back to normal. Still lots of Chobani yogurt but workers were busily loading the MB brand dairy along with a few other brands. They had what looked like a full complement of Cabot cheeses, which made me happy, as well as a decent array of specialty cheeses like parm and Central American quesos. Beautiful fresh swordfish and scrod at the fish counter and an increasing amount of meats.

                                            They sure don't seem to have lost many customers! It was good to be back and I can't wait for the Waltham store to open.

                                            1. I went to Chelsea this afternoon. Most of the shelves were fully stalked with only a few things missing here and there. The experience was what I would call organized chaos. The register lines stretched down the aisles but there were workers making sure the registers were moving along quickly.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: catsmeow

                                                I went to Reading today and it was so packed. The lines were 5 people long and the Store Manager was on the loud speaker thanking everyone for supporting Arthur T., which in his words made the transition possible. I heard him announce that the Reading store was the 4th busiest in the chain and was one of the stores where customers did not shop during the "stoppage". He kept thanking people over and over again, telling us that "we" made everything possible and how much he appreciated our support. I couldn't hear everything he said because of the crowds.
                                                It was nice being there again, even with the crowd.

                                                I told the cashier that I was happy she got her job back and she said she was too! :)

                                                The shelves were stocked and the stock people were filling shelves as fast as people were buying.

                                                There was no Kosher salt on the shelves though.

                                                www.saffron215.blogspot.com

                                                1. re: mcel215

                                                  looking forward to returning too.. I am usually a skeptic, esp about big business and would have wondered about the whole Arthur T hype, which seemed too good to be true, but I have met a couple people by chance, who work at MB and all the good stuff is really true, and inspiring and without the "strike" the chain would have been destroyed by the people who were brought in.. Nice report on the Reading store Mcel..

                                              2. Quick question from someone who has never shopped at Market Basket, but is looking forward to the Waltham opening.....do they carry any organic produce or nature food products? I can get all of these at the North Waltham Shaws/Star, but didn't know if MB carried any.

                                                8 Replies
                                                1. re: Science Chick

                                                  The Burlington MB has some organic produce, but not much in the way of natural products. Most Star/Shaws that I've seen carry more in that line - for example, other than some Bob's Red Mill and some cereal products, Market Basket would be a hard place to shop for gluten free products.

                                                  1. re: taterjane

                                                    the chelmsford location has what i consider a large selection of gluten/free products -- much larger than the similar section at the super s&s across the street -- but the items are not lumped together. snacks are not with cereal, for example.

                                                    however, organic produce is a small segment of that department.

                                                  2. re: Science Chick

                                                    The individual stores have considerable leeway to respond to demand, so it's hard to generalize. For example, Somerville carries organic produce, and quite a lot of Tom's of Maine toothpaste etc.

                                                    1. re: Aromatherapy

                                                      Great point. Market Basket locations vary a lot. For example, some have a Goya Aisle while others do not. (How can you not love a chain that has stores with Goya Aisles?) It all depends on the neighborhood. If the closest store does not have what you seek, it may be worthwhile to check out some others that are not too far away.

                                                      It's hard to guess whether the Waltham location will have a lot of organic or natural stuff. That Somerville does makes a lot of sense. The question is, will the inventory in Waltham be biased towards Waltham or Weston? Talk about different demographics!

                                                      1. re: PinchOfSalt

                                                        "How can you not love a chain that has stores with Goya aisles?"

                                                        In Florida, a chain that *doesn't* have a Goya aisle won't survive...too much demand! (and Conchita and La Casa Preferida, etc., etc., etc.)

                                                        (yes, I get it --regional, demographics, etc., etc., etc)

                                                        1. re: sunshine842

                                                          Part of the charm for me is the sign that hangs above the aisle and simple states "Goya". The Chelsea store even has warm Cinco de Mayo tortillas and gorditas. Okay, the factory is also in Chelsea, less than a mile away, but talk about fresh!

                                                          I live in Belmont so when Waltham does open it will be a difficult choice for me. I have bonded to the Burlington location but the lure of a huge MB like the one in Revere stocked with stuff that reflects the various ethnic communities in Waltham is really strong.

                                                          1. re: PinchOfSalt

                                                            The Somerville tortillas are almost always warm. The Cinco folks seem to deliver multiple times per day.

                                                    2. re: Science Chick

                                                      Market Basket in Somerville carries a lot of organic products at amazing prices, including a huge range of grains, flours, etc. from Bob's Red Mill and Earthly Choice: oatmeal, farro, quinoa, cornmeal, etc. - these are split between several different aisles, so takes some detective work to find all. A lot of organic dairy, beef, chicken, bison. Small but good selection of organic produce, and non-organic stuff is intelligently sourced with country of origin labeled. For example, knowing that the so-called "conventional" peppers are from Holland or Canada - countries with relatively sane pesticide restrictions - is much better in my book than "organic" from countries with lax regulation. Actually think MB does a better job in many respects than Whole Foods on that score. Shop at & love both for different reasons/products/prices.

                                                    3. b/f has decided to forego renewing our costco membership and will be buying more items at m/b. the meats are better quality at costco so we will have to work on better sourcing for that, but bounty towels are bounty towels.

                                                      8 Replies
                                                      1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                        Comparing meat at MB versus Costco: it's a difficult trade-off. In general, the prices are not that different. Costco has a more limited selection of cuts. The meat at Costco is choice or prime while the meat at MB is select or choice. In both cases the grade is clearly labeled, so no problem unless I am looking for prime. I recently finally did notice that the beef at Costco is needled. For reasons that I can't quite put my finger on, I find that objectionable. That needled thing set me on a track where I am buying less meat at Costco and more at MB.

                                                        1. re: PinchOfSalt

                                                          i much prefer the nz lamb from costco than the american stuff mb typically carries. have been buying beef and pork at shaw farm in dracut. oogly bits i buy at asian markets.

                                                          1. re: PinchOfSalt

                                                            Only some of the beef at Costco is machine tenderized and it is aways labeled as blade tenderized. Costco deserves some credit here as this labeling was previously optional and the vast majority of machine tenderized beef is not identified as such. The FDA has established new regulations requiring machine tenderized beef to be labeled, but most beef suppliers and super markets are taking the maximum time to comply. Many super markets (likely including Market Basket) sell "needled beef" without identifying it to the consumer. At least at Costco you can pick and choose what you get.

                                                            1. re: black_lab

                                                              costco also is a company known for treating its employees fairly well, so i was happy to share there too.

                                                              1. re: black_lab

                                                                Yea, I have not bought needled meat from Costco, but we buy very limited cuts. The NZ lamb is excellent and we buy it even though our freezer is full of lambs we buy up in NH.

                                                                1. re: smtucker

                                                                  do you mind sharing your nh source for lamb?

                                                                  1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                    It is a farm way north... Canadian border. I order the lamb during the birthing season, early Spring, so I technically own them from the day they are born. This avoids all kind of butchering issues. To my knowledge, he only raises the animals that have already been sold.

                                                                    When I pick up my 2014 lambs in October, I will ask him if he wants more business. If so, I can publish his name and number. Will let you know.

                                                          2. I'm in Maine this week so I'm not at my usual Demoulases, but was thrilled to return to the Biddeford one yesterday, almost everything there and everyone in a good mood. We just decided it's takeout lobsters for dinner tonight and called around. The Shaw's: $9.99 a pound. Demoulas: $4.99. Thank you Artie T!