How does a small family-run grocery business successfully compete with large supermarket chains? According to Mark Goretti, "…by paying attention to the quality of their product, meeting the expectations of their customers, and keeping up with industry trends."
"My passion is food," says Mark. "People come in all the time and tell me, 'oh, that was the best pot roast I've ever had,' or, 'those strawberries were delicious.' That’s what I love, and that's how we compete with the larger chains."
The Goretti family tradition began in 1950 when Raymond Goretti purchased the Cherry Valley Market in Leicester. In 1966 Goretti purchased the Millbury Sentry Super. Over the next twenty years, Raymond worked hard and expanded the operation to include three additional locations in Worcester.
When Raymond passed away in 1979, his wife Mary, with help from family members, took over management of the firm. In the early 1990's the company reorganized by selling off the Worcester locations and concentrating its efforts in the Millbury location. In 1998, the company moved into the second generation of ownership when Mark Goretti purchased the supermarket from remaining family members.
"You can buy a can of corn anywhere, but here you can also get your meat custom cut… and be in and out of the store in a couple of minutes," promises Mark. "Our niche is specialty cut meats, but our reputation is the relationship we have with our customers. When I can make someone happy by giving them a recipe, or sharing a cooking secret, boy, that’s satisfying."
"In my mind, there's still a place for a family-owned grocery business – because I'm here," says Mark. "And people know I'm here. They don't hesitate to let me know when they like something, or when something goes wrong. I like that. They like that."
But above all, Goretti says it's the employees that have made the difference: "They are by far the greatest asset of the company. It's our employees who come in everyday to work and create the warm and friendly atmosphere that makes us the 'community supermarket'."
Mark and his wife Christine have three children Theresa, Anthony and Michael, who all work at the store part-time, extending a family tradition that is nearly 40 years old, and counting.