July 29th, 2014

A tisket, a tasket…

…a family feud at Market Basket.

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.

16 Responses to “A tisket, a tasket…”

  1. Artfldgr Says:

    Arthur T. Demoulas the sole bidder left for Market Basket
    put up about 6 minutes ago…

  2. Artfldgr Says:

    Arthur T. has offered to buy the 50.5 percent of shares owned by Arthur S. and other relatives on his side of the family. He has not disclosed the amount of his offer, but industry specialists have valued the company at between $3 billion and $3.5 billion.

  3. Edd Says:

    They’re fairly new in NH thus modern and clean. I never heard of a ‘spoon roast’ prior to a year ago.

  4. Gringo Says:

    I learned about Market Basket when visiting my sister in MA. Very inexpensive fresh vegetables. Good place[s].

  5. waitforit Says:

    Reminds me of the puritans and their hatred of being controlled while at the same time demanding a social control of their own group of incredible proportions.

    What wonders that dichotomy and tension has produced. Fashioned after the Orthodox Jews and taking more from Torah than the New Testament, the Puritans are still an enigma.

  6. waitforit Says:

    This may be off target, but the following youtube experience is memorable, starting at about minute 3 when Celine comes in to the Canadian tenors. All I could think was, “how beautiful, the woman, the jewel, the flower, the center, when given the right setting.”


  7. waitforit Says:

    a tisket a tasket
    a grain in basket
    seeks sunlight when it falls
    a vessel we are all

    made holy seeks holy
    a power of truly
    good and evil while we
    seek to know more fully

  8. IGotBupkis, "Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses." Says:

    }}} Reminds me of the puritans and their hatred of being controlled while at the same time demanding a social control of their own group of incredible proportions.

    “The Christians [i.e., the Puritans] who helped found this country didn’t leave Europe because they were being persecuted – – They were KICKED OUT, because they were persecuting everyone else!”
    – Gore Vidal –

    While I would take anything Gore Vidal ever said with a measure of salt, I think there is some validity to what he suggests here. The Puritans were behind the Roundheads, who were part of a pretty obnoxious time of Brit history.

  9. MollyNH Says:

    My local MB is spacious & modern, there is flat screen & actually a cafe with all the amenities.
    The bakery is outstanding, REAL CREAM in the cream puffs & as neo mentioned the ricotta pie is to die for !
    Dairy there is a huge bargain half gallon of milk $1.59
    You can get a very Tuscan type of heavy chewy bread for $2.59 !
    Half & half cream store brand is $1.79 & a tub of whipped
    REAL BUTTER is $1.79.
    I have read that the ousted CEO Art T is very charitable
    gives huge donations to the Greek Orthodox Church & believes that the average working person deserves
    a huge break on their food bills. Now that is the kind of social justice & spreading the wealth I endorse & can get behind. Not the Leftists who save the perks for their buddies!

  10. Cornflour Says:

    I heard they have good jello.

  11. MollyNH Says:

    They do !!!!
    and when it s left over they donate it to Jello Wrestling Matches !

  12. neo-neocon Says:


    There is no good jello.

  13. Gringo Says:

    IGotBupkis, a lot- perhaps most- of the Puritan immigration to New England occurred before the English Civil War, so it couldn’t be said that Gore Vidal was correct that “They were KICKED OUT, because they were persecuting everyone else!” – they weren’t in power in England yet. Though they did their fair share of persecuting in New England, both before and after the Civil War.

    That being said, some Puritan immigration to New England did also occur after the 1660 Restoration, which would fit Gore Vidal’s hypothesis. A neighbor of mine in my NE hometown was an old Yankee. [There were still some around.] She made little mention of her ancestry, though I did find out that a street in a nearby city was named for one of her family. Decades later, some independent research led me to find out that the street was named for an ancestor that was one of the hanging judges responsible for the the death of Charles I. He had come to New England to escape- successfully it turned out- the wrath of King Charles II, the son of Charles I.

    As religious dissenters- many of whom were Roundheads- were banned for centuries from Oxbridge, I can’t say that the Anglicans had clean hands either. Interesting that nearly all of the scientific and engineering advances in England from 1600-1850 came from religious dissenters, not from the Anglicans who were permitted affiliation with Oxbridge. Isaac Newton had to dissimulate his dissenting religious view in order to be at Oxbridge. Source: The Evolution of Man and Society, by C.D. Darlington.

  14. Gringo Says:

    There is no good jello.

    Neo, how can you say that about jello? 🙂

  15. neo-neocon Says:


    My devotion to the topic of jello on this blog has obscured the fact that I do not like jello.

    My interest in it is purely esthetic and/or nostalgic.

  16. Ymarsakar Says:


About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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