And what a feud it is.
First of all, it’s been going on for over forty years, in court and out. And it’s heated up even more, with the firing of company president Arthur T. Demoulas by a board of directors controlled by Arthur S. Demoulas.
Yes, you read that right: Arthur T. and Arthur S., at war. What a difference a consonant makes.
Read the article if you want to learn what the feud is about. It’s not exactly a strike—stores are open, but many distributors aren’t delivering food—it’s a slowdown with the goal of getting Arthur T. reinstated. It’s a very New England-y thing, idiosyncratic and stubborn, just as the Market Basket stores are, with their lack of a website or Facebook page or slick visuals.
Market Baskets are rather grungy. If you don’t live in New England and you went to one, you might wonder what all the fuss was about. Their first claim to fame is that they’re much cheaper than the competition, and not just a few items, but nearly everything, and not just a little cheaper, but significantly so. They may not look as big and well-stocked as many markets, but they’ve got everything, including all the organic grass-fed meats you could want in a store that has neither Whole Foods’ selection nor its crazy prices, and more Italian bakery goods than you can shake a stick at (the ricotta squares are as good as those of bakeries in Brooklyn). They’ve got the best tabouli at almost half the price of everywhere else, and the same for their stuffed grape leaves.
The only real drawback is that Market Baskets are not open as late as most supermarkets. But they’re open plenty late, certainly much later than the 5 PM grocery store closings of my youth. If Market Basket goes the way of the dodo or the way of slick Shaws, I will be very very sad.