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The Rise of Market Basket: Unveiling the Beloved New England Supermarket’s Inspiring Story

Market Basket: The beloved New England supermarket

Customer loyalty is critical to the long-term success of any business. Earning that loyalty, however, requires offering superior products, top-notch customer service, and unbeatable prices. Market Basket, the immensely popular supermarket chain, has mastered these elements to become a beloved New England institution. Let’s dive into the fascinating story behind Market Basket’s regional success.

The early days: DeMoulas Market

In 1917, Greek immigrants Athanasios and Efrosini Demoulas opened the first DeMoulas Market in Lowell, Massachusetts. The city’s diverse population of Greek, Irish, and French residents contributed to the store’s early success. Despite Lowell’s industrial decline in the 1910s, DeMoulas Market survived the Great Depression and expanded to a new superette location in 1950.

Pioneering consumer credit

Long before credit cards became commonplace, DeMoulas Market offered groceries on credit in the 1940s. This early embrace of consumer credit endeared the store to its customers and fostered a mutual devotion that continues to this day. Market Basket’s emphasis on compassion and customer service, rather than profit, has been a defining characteristic of the company.

Transition to Market Basket

While Market Basket stores are now an iconic sight in Massachusetts, it’s interesting to note that they were originally known as DeMoulas. The transition to the Market Basket name began in 1975, but remnants of the DeMoulas branding remained in various stores for decades. Arthur T. Demoulas, grandson of the founders, currently serves as CEO and President of Market Basket, ensuring that the Demoulas name remains an integral part of the company’s identity.

“More for Your Dollar” Ethos

Market Basket’s slogan, “More for Your Dollar,” encapsulates the company’s commitment to providing customers with unbeatable value. The supermarket chain consistently offers amazingly low prices compared to other chains in the area. In fact, during inflationary times in 2022, Market Basket was named the lowest-priced chain in the entire United States by Dunhumby’s Retailer Preference Index. The store’s prices were 18% lower than the average for all grocery chains in the Boston area. Market Basket’s commitment to affordability has solidified its place in the hearts of its loyal customers.

Market Basket’s Massachusetts Roots

Market Basket has deep ties to Massachusetts, having opened its first store in Lowell in 1917 and remaining headquartered in Tewksbury to this day. It’s surprising, however, that there are no Market Basket stores in Boston, the state’s capital. The reasons for this absence are not entirely clear, but it is likely due to the high costs associated with operating in the city itself. Still, Market Basket’s identity is deeply rooted in Massachusetts, which makes the lack of a presence in Boston somewhat curious.

Market Basket: Unique name, dual presence

While Market Basket is synonymous with the popular New England supermarket chain, it is worth noting that another unrelated chain of the same name exists in Texas. Texas-based Market Basket began operations in 1961 and has carved out its own niche in southeast Texas and Louisiana. While we cannot directly compare the two chains, if the Market Basket brand in Louisiana and Texas is even half as good as its New England counterpart, residents of those states are undoubtedly fortunate.

A Family Feud

Market Basket’s ownership history has not been without its challenges. The company has always been owned and operated by members of the Demoulas family, beginning with brothers Telemachus and George, who purchased the original store from their parents in 1954. However, a long-running feud between family members that began in the 1990s has had its ups and downs, playing out both in public and behind closed doors.
Market Basket’s history is a testament to the power of offering exceptional products, outstanding customer service and unbeatable prices. It has become a beloved New England institution, earning customer loyalty through its commitment to value and compassion. As Market Basket continues to thrive, it remains a shining example of a successful and popular supermarket chain.


Market Basket traces its roots to 1917, when Greek immigrants Athanasios and Efrosini Demoulas opened the first DeMoulas Market in Lowell, Massachusetts. Since then, the company has grown into a popular New England supermarket chain.

What makes Market Basket so popular in New England?

Market Basket’s popularity in New England can be attributed to its commitment to providing superior products, superior customer service and unbeatable prices. The store’s “More for Your Dollar” ethos resonates with customers who appreciate its dedication to affordability and value.

Has Market Basket always been called that?

No, Market Basket was originally called DeMoulas. The transition to the Market Basket name began in 1975, but remnants of the DeMoulas branding remained in some stores for many years. Today, the DeMoulas name still has meaning within the company.

What makes Market Basket different from other grocery chains?

Market Basket differentiates itself from other grocery chains by offering consistently low prices, often significantly lower than the competition. The store’s commitment to affordability and its reputation for delivering value to customers have made it a favorite among New Englanders.

Has Market Basket faced any challenges in its history?

Market Basket has faced challenges, particularly related to ownership disputes within the Demoulas family. A feud between family members that began in the 1990s has had its ups and downs, but the company has been able to overcome these obstacles and continue its success.

Is Market Basket related to the Texas chain of the same name?

No, Market Basket in New England is not related to the chain of the same name in Texas. Market Basket in Texas operates independently and serves customers in southeast Texas and Louisiana.

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