Market Basket in Chelsea

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Restocking Shelves, And Cultures, At Chelsea Market Basket

August 29, 2014

Returning to normal will mean many things for Market Basket employees and customers. But for some of those shoppers, it will also mean returning to their homeland. I took a stroll down aisle 10 at the Chelsea Market Basket, where you’ll find food from around the world.

It may seem like just stacking bags, but workers here are restocking countries and cultures.

As I walk down aisle 10, I pass Haiti, Colombia, Portugal, Brazil, China, Bosnia and many others. The wide range of imported and ethnic food offerings, is what’s drawn Wadson Mendes and his wife to Market Basket for the past seven years.

"Fresh foods, like a lot of different meats," he said. "And the price of the meats is really different. You don’t find anything like Brazilian and Spanish. Like me, I’m Brazilian, but my wife, she’s Spanish, so right here is the best store to find everything once."

But as the Market Basket saga unfolded this summer, Mendes and his wife were forced to look elsewhere for the foods they loved — and it came at a price.

"I would say almost 50 percent more than we spend over here," he said.

Mendes says they went to as many as four different supermarkets and encountered more than just steeper food prices.

"You spend money on the gas, too, because we go far away," he said. "We live in Revere and we just have one supermarket over there, so sometimes we drive to Chelsea, East Boston, or Lynn, the close supermarkets."

It’s one of many things Mendes is happy to see come to an end.

As for me, I had my eye on some tasty looking lemon wafers from Brazil. Two packages for three dollars – in case you're interested.

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