My name is Erica Garvey and I am the pos coordinator at Londonderry # 42. Little did I know on that fateful day 31 years ago when on a when I filled out an application at Salem 6 Demoulas that I was starting my career path. I started at the front end as a cashier finishing high school and then started college working school breaks and weekends. As the years progressed I moved from the check-out to grocery. I had the privilege of working with many talented, hardworking people who always willing to help me and teach me. By 1987 I was asked by my then Store Director Ron Lambert if I wanted to do bread full-time. Taking a break from school, I decided to go for it. It was the best decision of my life. Today in this uncertain economy where many of my friends and family wonder if they will have a job tomorrow I have a job that I love! How many people can say that! Out of a personal challenge to myself I did complete my four year degree but I have never had any inclination to leave my job.
During the late eighties we as a company started scanning at the registers. I would help on Sundays with the new price change process. When the Londonderry store opened in 1988 I was given the opportunity to go there as the POS coordinator and have been there ever since. A few years later I was asked if I would help out at the new store 58. Sure I said. Over the last several years I have assisted in the opening of all of our newer stores and some of the remodel stores. Getting a new store ready is a lot of work but is so rewarding. At every opening I learn something new to bring back to my store. I have also developed great friendships with many of my POS colleagues from other stores. We work together as a team during openings and I can rely on them when I am back at my own store and I have a problem. I have been to most of the grand openings and the electricity that is in the air cannot be described. It must be experienced. There is a joyous atmosphere that is shared by both associates and customers. I have had the opportunity to speak with Mr. Arthur T Demoulas at many of these openings and he has always been so gracious and thankful to me and our team for another job well done.
One of the events that occur at grand openings is the ceremonial ribbon cutting. With all the openings I had attended I had never seen one. When we were getting the new #42 ready to go I made myself a promise not to miss this one. In the days just prior to the opening though, this was the last thing on my mind since I was not only helping at the new store but trying to do things at the old store as well. I spent many a day running between two stores. Two days before the opening my store director Mark Lemieux told me that Mr. D wanted all of the employees that had been at the Londonderry store since its opening in 1988 to participate in the ribbon ceremony. That included myself, Pam Fliger from the meat dept. Marilyn Eddy from the bakery and Virginia Grivois from the check-out.
June 5, 2011 was our grand opening day. Mr. Lemieux wanted us outside in front of the store at nine am. By this time all of the registers were open and lines were beginning to back up. We assembled outside and awaited Mr. D’s arrival. Knowing just how busy it was getting inside made all of us very anxious to get back to it. After about ten minutes Mr. Lemieux who was biting at the bit by this time pulled out his cutter and cut that ribbon. Just then Mr. D came out. Mr. Lemieux was handed the ceremonial scissors and we reassembled behind the ribbon with Mr. Lemieux holding it together between two fingers. This is the part where it gets interesting. Mr. D brings Marilyn who is a part time bakery clerk from the back of the group and has her hold the ribbon for Gale Hale the office manager to cut. This small gesture speaks volumes. Not only did Mr. Arthur T. Demoulas want to include the long standing employees of the Londonderry store in the ribbon cutting he showed that a part time bakery associate was just as important as a Store Director. He showed in this action what we have all have been saying for the past eight months that we are a united family. I am blessed to be a part of this family with Arthur T Demoulas as our CEO. Market Basket Strong!!