“Paul has been with Market Basket for 43 years and is the Store Director of Westford. Highly respected for his hands on style and people skills Paul has excelled at managing our smaller format stores where the job is often more difficult than the big stores. Thanks for speaking out Paul.”
“The American Dream: a set of ideals in which freedom includes the opportunity for prosperity and success, and an upward…mobility achieved through hard work.” – Wikipedia
My name is Paul Gauthier and I have forty-three years of service with Market Basket. Little did I know that on September 10, 1970, when I reported to work at Bridge Street Demoulas for my first day on the job that it was the beginning of my living the American Dream. I was a painfully shy sixteen-year-old high school student with a goal of working only long enough to make enough money to buy a color TV for my family. (We weren’t poor, but we didn’t have many luxuries.) Once I earned the money and bought the TV, I started to think that this job wasn’t so bad after all. I was meeting new friends and was starting to like what I did.
I was fortunate to start my career for a man, Normand Daigle, who took me under his wing and showed me how the grocery business is run. (I didn’t feel fortunate at the time!) Mr. Daigle showed me the value of caring, devotion, and hard work. Not to bore you with the details, but Mr. Daigle taught me that if you pay attention, work hard, and accept correction, you will succeed. As time went on, I was promoted and guided by great mentors—Mr. Marsden, who pulled me through hard times in the mid-80s; Mr. Rockwell; Mr. Lacourse; and more recently Tom Gordon and Tom Trainor. This story is repeated many times in our company, but the reality is that anyone who wants to succeed and really make a successful career is given the opportunity.
We all work hard and are trying to achieve the American Dream. Market Basket is giving us the opportunity to succeed if we choose to accept the challenge. We could easily lose much of what we have achieved through decisions made by the Board of Directors. One of the strengths of our company is that when we set goals and focus on them, we always succeed. We set up stores in days rather than weeks, do large re-sets in record time, and when there’s a fire or a flood we pull together and get the job done. The company functions like an extended family, and we all support and stand by each other. Last summer when Arthur T. Demoulas’s job was in jeopardy, we all pulled together and focused on saving his job. I feel that that was just the beginning of the battle; our biggest challenge lies ahead. My biggest concern is that we will get complacent. We all got our bonuses and they tell us our profit sharing will not be affected, but we cannot let our guard down. We need to stay focused and let the Board know that we know what they’re all about, and we’re not going away. They will not outlast us, because we are 25,000+ strong and we didn’t just roll in.
We are very fortunate to have Mr. A.T. Demoulas watching out for our best interests. We cannot allow the Board to change the culture of our company. Why would they want to? For the last eight years Mr. A.T. Demoulas has carried on the legacy of his father. He has doubled our earnings in a recession, opened new stores, created thousands of jobs, started a legendary customer service program, and created an atmosphere of caring, trust, and thanks. Under his leadership Market Basket has ranked seventh in Consumer Reports’ nationwide survey on supermarkets. We are the envy of all our competition. Why would the carpetbagging Board of Directors want to change this? Is it greed, jealousy, revenge, or all of the above? We must stay focused on every move that they propose. Our leader knows what is best for the company because he’s put in the time, effort, and devotion. We will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with Mr. Demoulas as we work to ensure that the American Dream remains accessible to a new generation of Market Basket employees.
Store Director #37