Guest post, Dan Perkins Dairy Manager Wilmington

  • Hi,
    My name is Dan Perkins and I am the Dairy Manager in Wilmington #3.
    I’ve been with the company since I started in this same store back in May of 1984,and with the exception of a six month hiatus back in 1988 when I thought that installing cable t.v. was my calling in life,i’ve been at it ever since. Thankfully,Jack D was good enough to take me back and give me another shot. I’m eternally grateful to him.

    There’s not really too much more I can add to what has already been stated on here in support of Arthur T.,so I will take this opportunity to thank him.
    Everything I have,from being able to afford a nice house,to the car I drive,to being able to take nice vacations every year,is a by-product of this man’s generosity.
    I want for nothing. I owe him everything.

    There really aren’t too many companies out there that take care of their employees as well as Market Basket does,where you can work hard and be well compensated for it – Google comes to mind.
    I’d like to tell you a story of another great company that shared pretty much the same philosophy that we have at Market Basket,but was essentially ruined by hiring someone to take over that had no idea of the culture that had been built over decades.
    ( BOD,pay attention please.)

    My Father worked for Polaroid for over 35 years,and like me here,started at the bottom and worked his way up the ladder. Employees there were loyal and well taken care of because Dr. Land – the founder and CEO – believed in investing in his employees.
    Polaroid sat on top of the world for years,my Dad was always coming home with new work clothes and shoes that the company sent each employee out to buy every six months. Once a month,every department in every building could go out to lunch and bill it to the company. Christmas parties at the buildings that once stood off of rte. 128 were legendary.
    As a kid,I was amazed at all of this and almost wound up applying there too after I graduated High School,but my Father told me I had better stay at Market Basket because things were changing there,and not for the better.
    Back in the ‘80’s Polaroid was almost the victim of a hostle take-over by Fuji Film. Dr.Land asked his employees if they would convert their version of our Profit Sharing in to Polaroid stock to stave off the take over. They did. All of them. Why? Because they were loyal to the man that had taken such good care of them over the years,that knew them by name,that shared the company’s success with them.
    Polaroid was saved,but sadly,in the early 90’s,Dr. Land passed away.
    An interm CEO was appointed – a man that had been by Dr. Land’s side for years and knew what made the company tick.
    After a year or two of dwindling profits because the company was slow on the uptake in entering the digital photography market,the larger shareholders hired – yup,you guessed it – an Executive search firm.
    The interim CEO was replaced by a man that had run Black & Decker for a while(and not in a good way). This man knew nothing of the culture that had been built in this company and was brought in to take things in a new direction. That direction? Away from what they were known for. What they did best. What worked.
    I’m sure you all know what happened to Polaroid in the past 10-15 years. They’re gone. They only exist in name alone and the entire company now consists of about 20 people.
    Tens of thousands of people were either forced in to retirement or left before things went really bad. My Dad? He stayed until the bitter end. By then,Polaroid stock was worthless. His retirement money was gone. He,along with thousands of others,lost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Money that was supposed to be there for them to enjoy in their Golden Years,gone .
    Why did he stay? Because he was loyal to the man and the company,just hoping for some miracle to bring Polaroid back to what it once was.
    Both of my parents continue to work even though they’re both pushing 70. Not exactly how I pictured them enjoying retirement.
    How could this happen? Because the vision was gone.
    I can’t help but think that this same thing could happen to our company,to all of us,if Arthur T. and his vision and leadership in this company is replaced with someone that doesn’t know us or how we operate at all.

    What we need here,BOD,is for you to just sit back and collect your checks like you’ve been doing for years and let Arthur T. get back to doing what he does best – Running our company without restraints.

    I’m also attaching a letter Dr. Land sent to all of his employees back in the day concerning a mailing they had received from a Union.
    I’m sure you’ll notice some similarities with how he addresses his people.

    Thank God for Market Basket!!!

    Dan Perkins
    Dairy Manager Store#3

     

    “August 20, 1970
    My dear friends,
    I have just seen a letter sent to many of you by some Polaroid
    employees, written on U.R.W stationary. I am sorry that they chose to
    invade your privacy by taking the mailing list without permission. I
    assume you may expect to hear more from these sources. To those of you
    who have worked with me, and grown up with me, and created an industry
    with me, I need not recall that our proudest product is not our film,not
    our customers, but it is the kind of company in which you are not
    “workers” but men and women. It is a company in which, meeting with all
    of you together, I have again and again shared with you our plans, our
    problems and our hopes. It was in these meetings that I encouraged you
    to stand proudly on your own feet as individuals, to “train” your own
    supervisors in letting you take responsibility. It was in these meetings
    that I as president of a small but confident company had the courage to
    announce medical plans, and vacation plans and policies, participation
    plans that made you partners in profit when we became successful, as
    well as partners in the risks, the hopes and the technical success. This
    is no ordinary company that we have built together. It is the proud
    pioneer that sets out to teach the world how people should work
    together.
    In all this I have been supported by not only the thousands of you but
    also by most of my colleagues in management. Our determined purpose is
    to carry Polaroid through the rest of the way to the full realization of
    the dream: ten thousand individuals, every one different from every
    other, every one bringing his special talent and his special wisdom to
    our tasks.
    Polaroid is on its way to lead the world – perhaps even save it – by
    this interplay between science, technology and real people.
    I have waited many years for this next great step in our growth toward
    the perfect scientific – human company. I cannot imagine that many of
    you could turn away now. This may be a movement in which the thousands
    of you who know should teach the few who have not been here long enough
    to understand.
    With warm regards,
    Edwin Land”

We must be doing something right

A major consumer watchdog publication has published their annual supermarket ratings and Market Basket moved up a spot from the last time from 7th to 6th. These ratings are based on feedback from their subscribers nationwide and included pricing, cleanliness, service and perishables. Of the 5 “supermarkets” rated higher than Market Basket, only one of them, Publix, can be considered in the same category as our company. The others are specialty retailers that don’t focus on traditional groceries like our company.

What is really important about this rating is the fact that this is based on a national survey and we are number 6 as a regional chain of 71 stores, pretty darn impressive. The credit for this honor goes to YOU, all of the stakeholders of Market Basket that have made our company what it is today. Of course the legendary leadership and guidance of ATD and his management team has also made this possible.

To the “A” shareholders and their puppet Board; What exactly was it again that you are trying to fix?

If you are truly independent and truly want what is best for the company then unshackle ATD and let him and the rest of us do our jobs.

 

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2014/05/how-to-be-a-smarter-supermarket-shopper/index.htm

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/money/shopping/supermarkets/supermarkets-ratings/ratings-overview.htm

Guest post, Sandi Berk Office Manager Rowley

My name is Sandi Berk, I am the office manager of Rowley #49.
I have worked with four store directors Mr. Ron Lambert, Mr. Brian Sansoucie, Mr. Terry McCarthy , and Mr. Brian Rockwell, and countless associates since coming to work at Market .
Everyone is different, but the same, as we all care about this company.
It truly did not take long once I started working at MB to realize that this is a
company that cares about its associates. This is a company that I am proud to work at. I started as a cashier, on to grocery, and eventually the courtesy booth, and now office manager. I was lucky enough to work, at the Danvers #23 store when it opened, and met Mr. ATD. He had come to visit, and see how the opening was going.
When he came over to me at the service desk, I said ” thank you for our new store”. His response was, ” As long as the customers like it “. They sure did! I am now so concerned, as I’m sure every one is, that this company has come to a halt.

I’m sure I’m not the only one that has noticed these other groceries stores stopping their so called ” savings cards”, and the commercials on TV showing their associates, with tags lines that say how many years each one has worked there. Sound familiar ?

This company has been making others nervous because ATD, our leader, has been steering this company to the future, and it looked bright. Opening new stores, remodeling others, employment opportunities, promotion possibilities. It just seems like it just stopped. I do not understand how the BOD would allow this to happen, unless the whole voting process is just a farce. How can intelligent people feel this is the way this company should be run? Do not think for a minute, that these other grocery chains are not watching this foolish fighting. Waiting for us to fail!
The BOD should be embarrassed by what they are doing, and not doing!
We, as associates of MB, will not back down. We will be there for ATD. We will be there when he needs us. What other company has a CEO, that is so cared about by his associates? ATD WE ARE WITH YOU!
Sandi Berk
19 years

Guest post, Michele Berube Kitchen Manager Londonderry

Seven years ago I moved to Plaistow NH, from Fitchburg MA, with 4 bags of clothes and a 4 year old daughter, petrified of how I was going to provide a good life for her on my own. With only a high school diploma I walked into the Plaistow Market Basket looking for part-time work as a cashier until I could find a full-time job. Little did I know that day, what was supposed to be a job for the mean time turned into a fantastic career. The only position available at the time was a deli clerk, so of course needing the job, I took it right away. I worked any shift given to me, any time, any day, it didn’t matter. Months after being in Market Basket I was offered a full-time position, which I didn’t know until then all the wonderful benefits that came along with this. I was so excited and a bit relieved that now I would have a future for my daughter and I. With hard work, dedication, and the guidance of great Supervisors, Store Managers, Asst. Store Managers, and Deli Managers who have been with this company for many many years, I became a deli assistant. Shortly after, I am now a proud Kitchen Manager in Londonderry NH store #42. I went from a scared single mom with nothing to her name. To a confident, proud employee of Market Basket who can provide a stable, comfortable life for her daughter. With out this company I don’t know where I would be today or what I would be doing. This company took a chance on a hard working single mom and together we turned my life around.

Artie T. is the only leader I have known since working for Market Basket and if our company has done this much for me in the seven years I have been here, with Artie T. as our leader, and for the 30 plus years of my mentors whom I follow every day, and for the future leaders that are behind me, I don’t want any other leader than Artie T. Thank you Sir for your hard work and dedication to continue building the best company I have ever worked for. I don’t just feel like an employee of Market Basket, I feel part of a family.

Michele Berube
Kitchen Manager
Londonderry #42

Guest post, Sharon Whelan Bakery Manager Tewksbury

My name is Sharon Whalen and I’m the bakery manager in Tewksbury store 8. I’ve spent more than half my career as the manager in store 8. Most people that know me, know I try to keep my personnel life outside of work. But now I feel I should speak up so people know who we are and what our company stands for, for me anyway. I have a daughter that was born with a heart defect. She has had many procedures because of her heart problems. Her 1st one was when she was 6 weeks old. 30 years later, they’re now talking about a heart and liver transplant. She has a procedure coming up next week to help with the breathing. Why am I telling people now? Because when she was born, we had health insurance that would not cover pre-existing  conditions. However, when I started at market basket that all changed. Mr. Arthur T Demoulas could of gotten an HMO or other insurance cheaper for his employees but he looks out for his employees and their families. He could increase our pay weekly but nothing would come close to the bonuses we receive. He does not have to have a profit sharing plan for us, but he does. We could have a 401k that we have to put into instead. All because his father wanted to give back to the employees that help get him where he was. And today most of those employees are our back bone executive management.  Because he takes care of us, because we take care of the customers.  His father, The Old Man, Mike was in store 8 almost every Saturday, sitting at the people table talking to friends and customers. They respected him. Today his son Arthur T is taken care of the customers and employees. He is a very respected, loyal, humble man. He and his family are very private and do for others because they like to help others not for the publicity. If it wasn’t for him and this company, who knows were a lot of us would be today. It’s just not fair what he and his family are going through. He could just throw in the towel and stop fighting and just collect a paycheck like the other side does, but he won’t. Because he believes in this company and us. We need to support him as he supports us. I see Mr. D. a lot being in store 8, but a probable talk to his wife more. And every time I talk to either Mr. D or Mrs. D, they always ask about my daughter. If there is anything they can do and she’s in there thoughts and prayers. What other company has what we have? What other company’s CEO treats us all as family? There is only one Boss and we will stand behind him and fight  in lock step. Please take the handcuffs off Arthur T so the company can grow and make more jobs for all the communities that so deserve our serve.
Sharon Whalen
Senior Bakery Manager
Store 8
25 years and climbing

Guest post, Eric Funes Front End Manager Ashland

 

  • Hi my name is Eric Funes and I’m a head cashier in the Ashland store #46. I have had the honor of working for this great amazing company for the last 16 years. I started as a 14 year old bagger at the Ashland store and have been working myself up the rankings in that same location. As a young man growing up and going through high school I never imagined that this would be my career because I was going to a technical school and thought I would be working in my trade once I graduated. After high school i had the opportunity to go to college on a scholarship but at the time my father got injured at work so i had to drop out of college and i had to step up and pay the bills at home and help with the mortgage so I chose to speak to the store manager at the time Mr. Jerry Rourke and he told me that there was a class 11 position and that he thought it would be a great opportunity for me to take it and learn and move up in this great company. He was right !!!! I have learned from great managers along the way that have had the philosophy and great work ethics and determination and leadership that was passed down to them from one man Mr Arthur T. Demoulas, so to those managers and supervisors i thank you for making me who i am today, Mr. Jerry Rourke, Mr. Jason Ramsey, Mr. Frank Parreira, Mr. Ron Lambert, Mr. Joe Angelari, Mr. Schmidt, Mr. Gordon. I have been a grocery manager for 1 year and a half and a head cashier for 8 years now and i love what i do and working hard to move up just like the men I spoke about earlier.
    I have had the honor and pleasure of opening and working in brand new stores and traveling and doing all the training for our new associates and passing the market basket knowledge and philosophy to them so our stores keep running the right way like they have been.

    I have had the great pleasure of meeting Arthur T Demoulas and talking to him and he’s always remembered me and my family and has always asked if we were ok and if we needed anything and I will always remember the day he asked me if I was ready to run a store for him. That meant a lot to me because he sees something in me and that just makes me want to work even harder to make him proud
    and to make him feel comfortable to have another great store manager that can run one of his stores like these great store managers in this great company. What other CEO would take the time to pull you aside and talk to you personally about any issues going on in your life or ask how your mom or dad are or kids or wife are doing. The answer is Mr.Arthur T Demoulas. What company and employees gather together when a love one or family member passes or when there trying to oust our leader? Thats right us !! The Market Basket family. No other company is or will be like us !! UNITED WE STAND AS ONE !

    Again the question is to the board y change things if there not broken and just let them run how they were, because before all this we were opening stores everywhere and succeeding and making new towns happy for having our commitment and philosophies of being the best supermarket chain out there and valuing our customer patronage so they can spend there hard earn money with us and not anywhere else. Just a reminder to the board because again what do I know I have only been working for the company 16 years and learning from the best supervisors and managers in the chain and hope to keep learning more.

    I have been grateful for being part of this great company and family because thats what we are a big caring FAMILY that have each others back and we will do everything and anything to keep Mr. Authur T. Demoulas as CEO and President of this successful,growing family oriented company! I will always support Mr. Arthur T. Demoulas because he has always supported all of us.

Guest post, Kristen Adamczyk Deli Manager Tewksbury

My name is Kristen Adamczyk and for 18 years I’ve been working at the Tewksbury Stadium Plaza store #8. It has only been recently that I’ve become Deli Manager but it is my pleasure to say that I have worked along side many wonderful people that have come through this store. I’m honored to have been mentored by soo many great Deli Managers(some who are now Supervisors) in my years.
This company has always given me security and stability to make a good living and to be able to provide for my family and our future.
These Board of Directors should visit the stores and see for themselves how this well oiled machine really runs!
How hard we work to take care of our customers needs.How we build relationships with these neighborhoods that shop in our stores-How we know customers by name not just face. There is a uniqueness in this company that you can’t find anywhere else. There is a team effort from the store managers level right to our young ones just starting out that is one of a kind!
I would like to say “Thank You” to Mr.Arthur T.Demoulas for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this company that leads in this industry. You have my full support Sir!
And to Mr.Tom Trainor,thank you for challenging more of us to make our voices be heard. This is Our Fight!!
Respectfully,
Kristen Adamczyk-Deli Manager Store #8

Guest Post, William Flynn, Assistant Produce Manager

My name is William Flynn and I am the Assistant Produce Manager at Londonderry #42.  This letter is to every Market Basket employee, every board member, and especially to those who are looking to begin careers with the company.
My father was involved with the company during ‘74-’78, and hired by Mr. Rockwell at the original South Nashua store.  During his stay, he had the privilege of opening up Chelmsford, Leominster, Woburn, and Lowell.   I began working in the South Nashua Market Basket (#13) at around 14 years old, following in the footsteps of my father.
After around five months of working in the Check-Out, I got transferred back to Produce with another part-time sacker, and it’s all history from there.  Here I am almost ten years later writing this letter to you all.
I am from a different generation of MB employees, as I’m sure many of you are as well.  Unfortunately, I am too young and did not afford the opportunity to meet the renowned Mr. T.A. Demoulas.  However, his essential philosophies of being in the people business FIRST remain with us the employees, with Market Basket, and most importantly with our BOSS Mr. Arthur T. Demoulas.  Only under his direction will this company succeed.
Market Basket has some of the most knowledgeable, reliable, and caring associates in just about all of retail.  When have you ever walked into another store besides Market Basket and be greeted with such warmth?  Market Basket’s values are catchy, contagious.  I owe it to Scott Marsden and his management cadre at Store 13, the team that instilled the Market Basket values in me at a young age.  Thank you for believing in me.
A company based on integrity is now losing integrity because of recent shareholder disputes.  TO THE SHAREHOLDERS:
I beg you ALL to do a tour of all Market Basket stores!  Introduce yourselves to each employee as they shake your hand or smile at you.  But before you do that, know that we’ll treat you like we were taught to treat every patron that has ever walked into our store, shareholder or not.  Like gold.
I am a proud Market Basket employee and I cannot stand idle any longer.
Sincerely,
W. Flynn

Guest post, Larry Frost Front End Manager Billerica

Dear “A” Shareholders,

Under ATD I have learned the following:

I work hard for DSM, I do not need to worry about my health insurance, profit sharing, and bonus’. The health insurance that we have is a great plan which keeps me on track with my doctors staying healthy so I can perform my duties without worry.

The profit sharing plan as it was is the best in the country. Why change it? ASD did not have faith with the past trustees one of which was Mr. Marsden so they were replaced them with Weiner. Watching Mr. Weiner’s views about Babson College on youtube reminded me how myself and my fellow associates feel about DSM, but when approached by Cindy Whelan before a BOD meeting he responded to her asking if he would answer some questions, “You can ask, but I won’t answer.” HE doesn’t seem very approachable and this is one person who could decide if someone had a hardship and requested money from the profit sharing plan on whether or not that associate would receive it. Even though the 2008 economic meltdown caused the plan to lose money for the second time (first was after 2001), why hire a firm that will eat more money out of the profits. Firms lost money too (my brothers company lost 22%).

The bonus’ have been more than generous. Work hard and we will be rewarded for all of our efforts. Some have said that we are overpaid. I work over 50 hours a week not including the 3 or 4 hours that I do my schedule at home. I am paid for 45 hours. In times of crisis like the freak October snow storm, I worked about 70 hours (my store director worked close to 90). Feeling appreciated by your CEO and having the benefits that we do made it easy to work those hours. Before the snow started that Saturday in October, I worked 13 hours. I left at 10 PM and received a call from my assistant store manager, who started his vacation 7 hours before and was the first one there when the power was lost at midnight that the store lost power, and he needed me in. There was no sleep that night and I did not leave the store again until about 8 or 830 Sunday morning. ATD has our back and we have his.

The most important thing I have learned is take care of the customer. Keep the prices low and give the customers the best service possible and they will return. THE BOD does not understand this fact. According to Mr. Rockwell’s sworn deposition last year, ASD went to his house and said he (ASD) thought the prices were too low. Does he know DSM’s clientele? At Billerica #17, I have customers traveling from Waltham on 95 which without traffic is roughly 20 minute drive. They chose to shop here because the alternative is more expensive even when you factor in the price of gas. They also ask when the Waltham project will resume? I hope the BOD has an answer for those customers. You raise the prices, you price out your customers and lose them. Have you ever gone to Stop n Shop that has a Market Basket next to or across the street from it? Who’s parking lot is full and who’s is empty? Are you going to allow that to change. In 2007 when I was working in Leominster, Shaws started a promotion that from 4-7 or 8 pm every register will be open so you can get in and out. Mr. Don Foucher (retired grocery supervisor) mentioned it to me and I told him I found it quite humorous as I went to Shaws every Thursday. They have a TD Bank branch inside so I would go there after to work to deposit my paycheck. I walked though the store and all the lights were on but no one was at the register. The employees were gathered together talking to each other. When was the last time you saw a DSM associate wearing his/her uniform while shopping at Shaws? NEVER! When I worked at Fitchburg 14, I would see Shaws employees shopping in uniform all the time. The BOD needs to know the clientele. They don’t!

I almost forgot to the mention the 4% savings. The customers have been very excited about the extra savings. This past Monday, I went to the dentist and Kathy the finance coordinator was telling me how great her shopping experience was last week. She save $20 in coupons and $10 because of the 4% so as she described it was like getting $30 in free food. I love seeing the excitement that the customers show when they see the circled savings on their receipts.

I urge you to throw your support behind ATD. 25,000 associates do. The competitors employees do. Our loyal customers do. There’s room for more supporters so come join us and let ATD lead DSM into the centennial.

Sincerely,

Lawrence “Larry” Frost
Head Cashier Store #17
21 Years and Counting

 

Guest post, Deb Rogers Receiving Londonderry

I spent 24 yrs with a company. They offered us a coupon for a free jar of peanut butter for Christmas, they took away time an a half on Sundays, and replaced our profit sharing with a pension plan that even if you left the company, you can’t touch your money until your 55, even to roll it somewhere else. In 24 yrs I never got a hello from the owner. I now work at MB, and could not be happier. From Dean and the girls at the warehouse, the drivers ,and the whole crew at my store, it’s a TEAM effort in all we do. It makes a big difference when u work for someone that knows his people. Mr.Demoulas was a pleasant shock for me, he cares for his company and the people that work for him. He knows his business and it shows in the way M.B. has grown. I say good for him..we should have more employers like Mr.D. I can’t begin to say thank you to him. My name is Deb Rogers. I’m the receiver at #42, and happy to be part of the Market Basket family…